The Phenomenon of Suicide – Osho

I come from a family where there are four suicides on the maternal side, including my grandmother. How does this affect one’s death? What help to overcome this perversion of death which runs as a theme through the family? 

The phenomenon of death is one of the most mysterious and so is the phenomenon of suicide. Don’t decide from the surface what suicide is. It can be many things. My own understanding is that people who commit suicide are the most sensitive people in the world, very intelligent. Because of their sensitivity, because of their intelligence, they find it difficult to cope with this neurotic world.

The society is neurotic. It exists on neurotic foundations. Its whole history is a history of madness, of violence, war, destruction. Somebody says, “My country is the greatest country in the world” — now this is neurosis. Somebody says, “My religion is the greatest and the highest religion in the world” — now this is neurosis. And this neurosis has gone to the very blood and to the bones, and people have become very, very dull, insensitive. They had to become, otherwise life would be impossible.

You have to become insensitive to cope with this dull life around you; otherwise you start falling out of tune. If you start falling out of tune with the society, the society declares you mad. The society is mad, but if you are not in adjustment with it, it declares you mad. So, either you have to go mad, or you have to find a way out of the society; that’s what suicide is. Life becomes intolerable. It seems impossible to cope with so many people around you – and they are all insane. What will you do if you are thrown into an insane asylum?

It happened to one of my friends; he was in a mental asylum. He was put there by the court for nine months. After six months — he was mad, so he could do it — he found a big bottle of phenol in the bathroom and he drank it. For fifteen days he suffered diarrhea and vomiting, and because of that diarrhea and vomiting he came back into the world. His system was purified, the poison disappeared. He was telling me that those next three months were the most difficult — “The first six months were beautiful because I was mad, and everybody was also mad. Things were going simply beautifully, there was no problem. I was in tune with the whole madness around me.”

When he drank phenol, and those fifteen days of diarrhea and vomiting, somehow by an accident his system got purified, his stomach got purified. He could not eat for those fifteen days — the vomiting was too much — so he had to fast. He rested in bed for fifteen days. That rest, that fasting, that purifying helped — it was an accident — and he became sane. He went to the doctors, told them “I have become sane”; they all laughed. They said, “Everybody says so.” The more he insisted, the more they insisted, “You are mad, because every madman says so. You simply go and do your work. You cannot be released before the court’s order comes.”

“Those three months were impossible,” he said, “nightmarish!” Many times he thought about suicide. But he is a man of strong will. And it was only a question of three months, he could wait. It was intolerable! — somebody was pulling his hair, somebody was pulling his leg, somebody would simply jump upon him. All that had been going on for six months, but he had also been part in it. He was also doing the same things; he was a perfect member of that mad society. But for three months it was impossible because he was sane and everybody was insane.

In this neurotic world, if you are sane, sensitive, intelligent, either you have to go mad, or you have to commit suicide — or you have to become a sannyasin. What else is there?

The question is from Jane Ferber; she is Bodhicitta’s wife. She has come to me in the right time. She can become a sannyasin and avoid suicide.

In the East suicide does not exist so much, because sannyas is an alternative. You can respectfully drop out; the East accepts it. You can start doing your own thing; the East has respect for it. Hence, the difference between India and America is of five times: for one Indian committing suicide, five Americans commit suicide. And the phenomenon of suicide is a growing phenomenon in America. Intelligence is growing, sensitivity is growing, and the society is dull. And the society does not provide an intelligent world — then what to do? Just go on suffering unnecessarily?

Then one starts thinking, “Why not drop it all? Why not finish it? Why not give the ticket back to God?” In America, if sannyas becomes a great movement, the rate of suicide will start falling, because people will have a far better and more creative alternative of dropping out. Have you watched it happen that hippies don’t commit suicide? It is the square world, the conventional world where suicide is more prevalent. The hippie has dropped out. He is a kind of sannyasin — not yet fully alert to what he is doing but on the right way; moving, groping, but in the right direction. The hippie is the beginning of sannyas. The hippie is saying, “I don’t want to be a part of this rotten game, I don’t want to be a part of this political game. I see things, and I would like to live my own life. I don’t want to become anybody’s slave. I don’t want to be killed on any war front. I don’t want to fight — there are far more beautiful things to do.”

But for millions there is nothing; the society has taken away all possibilities for their growth. They are stuck. People commit suicide because they are feeling stuck and they don’t see any way out. They come to a cul-de-sac. And the more intelligent you are, the sooner you will come to that cul-de-sac, that impasse. And then what are you supposed to do? The society does not give you any alternative; the society does not allow an alternative society.

Sannyas is an alternative society. It looks strange that in India the suicide rate is the lowest in the world. Logically it should be the highest, because people are suffering, people are miserable, starving. But this strange phenomenon happens everywhere: poor people don’t commit suicide. They have nothing to live for, they have nothing to die for. Because they are starved, they are occupied with their food, shelter, money, things like that. They cannot afford to think about suicide, they are not yet that affluent. America has everything, India has nothing.

Just the other day I was reading… Somebody has written: “Americans have a smiling Jimmy Carter, Johnny Cash and Bob Hope. And Indians have a dry, dull, dead Morarji Desai, no cash, and very little hope.”

But still people don’t commit suicide: they go on living, they enjoy life. Even beggars are thrilled, excited. There is nothing to be excited about, but they are hoping.

Why is it happening so much in America? — the ordinary problems of life have disappeared, the mind is free to rise higher than the ordinary consciousness. The mind can rise beyond body, beyond mind itself. The consciousness is ready to take wings and the society does not allow it. Out of ten suicides, about nine are sensitive people. Seeing the meaninglessness of life, seeing the indignity that life imposes, seeing the compromises that one has to make for nothing, seeing all the taciturnity, looking around and seeing this — “a tale told by an idiot, signifying nothing” — they decide to get rid of the body. If they could have wings in the body, they would not decide so.

Then suicide has another significance too; it has to be understood. In life everything seems to be common, imitative. You can’t have a car that others don’t have. Millions of people have the same car as you have. Millions of people are living the same life as you are living, seeing the same film, the same movie, the same TV as you are, reading the same newspaper as you do. Life is too common, nothing unique is left for you to do, to be. Suicide seems to be a unique phenomenon: only you can die for yourself, nobody else can die for you. Your death will be your death, nobody else’s. Death is unique!

Look at the phenomenon: death is unique — it defines you as an individual, it gives you individuality. The society has taken your individuality; you are just a cog in the wheel, replaceable. If you die nobody will miss you, you will be replaced. If you are a professor in the university, another will be the professor in the university. Even if you are the president of a country, another will be the president of the country, immediately, the moment you are no more. You are replaceable.

This hurts — that your worth is not much, that you will not be missed, that one day you will disappear and soon those people who will remember you will also disappear. Then, it will be almost as if you had never been. Just think of that day. You will disappear… Yes, for a few days people will remember — your lover will remember you, your children will remember you, maybe a few friends. By and by, their memory will become pale, faint, will start disappearing. But maybe while those people with whom you had a certain kind of intimacy are alive, you may be remembered once in a while. But once they are also gone, then… then you simply disappear, as if you had never been here. Then there is no difference whether you have been here or have not been here.

Life does not give you unique respect. It is very humiliating. It drives you into such a hole where you are just a cog in the wheel, a cog in the vast mechanism. It makes you anonymous.

Death, at least, is unique. And suicide is more unique than death. Why? — because death comes, and suicide is something that you do. Death is beyond you: when it will come, it will come. But suicide you can manage, you are not a victim. Suicide you can manage. With death you will be a victim, with suicide you will be in control. Birth has already happened – now you cannot do anything about it, and you had not done anything before you were born — it was an accident.

There are three things in life which are vital: birth, love, and death. Birth has happened; there is nothing to do about it. You were not even asked whether you wanted to be born or not. You are a victim. Love also happens; you cannot do anything about it, you are helpless. One day you fall in love with somebody, you cannot do anything about it. If you want to fall in love with somebody you cannot manage, it is impossible. And when you fall in love with somebody, if you don’t want — if you want to pull yourself away — that too seems to be difficult. Birth is a happening, so is love. Now only death is left about which something can be done: you can be a victim or you can decide on your own.

A suicide is one who decides, who says, “Let me at least do one thing in this existence where I was almost accidental: I will commit suicide. At least there is one thing I can do!” Birth is impossible to do; love cannot be created if it is not there; but death… death has an alternative. Either you can be a victim or you can be decisive.

This society has taken all dignity from you. That’s why people commit suicide — because their committing suicide will give them a sort of dignity. They can say to God, “I have renounced your world and your life. It was not of worth!” The people who commit suicide are almost always more sensitive than the others who go on dragging, living. And I’m not saying to commit suicide, I am saying there is a higher possibility. Each moment of life can be so beautiful, individual, non-imitative, non-repetitive. Each moment can be so precious! Then there is no need to commit suicide. Each moment can bring such blessing, and each moment can define you as unique — because you are unique! Never before has there been a person like you, and never again will there be.

But the society forces you to become part of a big army. The society never likes a person who goes in his own way. The society wants you to be part of the crowd: be a Hindu, be a Christian, be a Jew, be an American, be an Indian — but be part of a crowd; any crowd, but be part of a crowd. Never be yourself. And those who want to be themselves… and those are the salt of the earth, those people who want to be themselves. They are the most valuable people on the earth. The earth has a little dignity and fragrance because of these people. Then they commit suicide.

Sannyas and suicide are alternatives. This is my experience: you can become a sannyasin only when you have come to the point where, if not sannyas, then suicide. Sannyas means, “I will try to become an individual while alive! I will live my life in my own way. I will not be dictated to, dominated. I will not function like a mechanism, like a robot. I will not have any ideals, and I will not have any goals. I will live in the moment, and I will live on the spur of the moment. I will be spontaneous, and I will risk all for it!”

Sannyas is a risk.

Jane, I would like to say to you: I have looked into your eyes; the possibility of suicide is there too. But I don’t think you will have to commit suicide — sannyas will do! You are more fortunate than the four people in your family who committed suicide. In fact, every intelligent person has the capacity to commit suicide, only idiots never commit. Have you ever heard of any idiot ever committing suicide? He does not care about life; why should he commit suicide? Only a rare intelligence starts feeling the need to do something, because life as it is lived is not worth living. So, either do something and change your life — give it a new shape, a new direction, a new dimension — or why go on carrying this nightmarish burden, day-in day-out, year-in year-out? And it will continue… And medical science is helping you to continue it even longer — a hundred years, a hundred and twenty years. And now those people are saying that a man can live to nearabout three hundred years, easily. Just think if people have to live for three hundred years: the suicide rate would go very high — because then even mediocre minds would start thinking that it is pointless.

Intelligence means seeing deeply into things. Has your life any point? Has your life any joy? Has your life any poetry in it? Has your life any creativity in it? Do you feel grateful that you are here? Do you feel grateful that you were born? Can you thank your God? Can you say with your whole heart that this is a blessing? If you cannot, then why do you go on living? Either make your life a blessing… or why go on burdening this earth? Disappear. Somebody else may occupy your space and may do better. This idea comes to the intelligent mind naturally. It is a very, very natural idea when you are intelligent. Intelligent people commit suicide. And those who are more intelligent than the intelligent people — they take sannyas. They start creating a meaning, they start creating a significance, they start living. Why miss this opportunity?

Heidegger has said: “Death isolates me and makes of me an individual.” It is my death, not that of the multitude to which I belong. Each of us dies his own death; death cannot be repeated. I can sit an examination twice, or thrice; compare my second marriage with my first, and so on and so forth. I die only once. I can get married as many times as I like, I can change my jobs as many times as I like, I can change my town as many times as I like… but I die only once. Death is so challenging because it is at once certain and uncertain. That it will come is certain, when it will do so is uncertain.

Hence there is great curiosity about death, about what it is. One wants to know about it. And there is nothing morbid about this contemplation of death. Accusations of that kind are merely the device of the impersonal ‘they’ — the crowd — to prevent one escaping its tyranny and becoming individuals. What is necessary is to see our life as a being towards death. Once this point has been reached, there is a possibility of deliverance from the banality of everyday life and its servitude to anonymous powers. He who has so confronted his death is stabbed awake thereby. He perceives himself now as an individual distinct from the mass, and is prepared to take over responsibility for his own life. In this way, we decide for authentic against inauthentic existence. We emerge from the mass and become ourselves at last.

Even to contemplate death gives you an individuality, a form, a shape, a definition — because it is your death. It is the only thing left in the world that is unique. And when you think about suicide it becomes even more personal; it is your decision.

And remember, I am not saying that you should go and commit suicide. I am saying that your life, as it is, is leading you towards suicide. Change it.

And contemplate death. It can come any moment, so don’t think that it is morbid to think about death. It is not, because death is the culmination of life, the very crescendo of life. You have to take note of it. It is coming — whether you commit suicide or it comes … but it is coming. It has to happen. You have to prepare for it, and the only way to prepare for death — the right way — is not to commit suicide; the right way is to die each moment to the past. That’s the right way. That’s what a sannyasin is supposed to do: die each moment to the past, never carry the past for a single moment. Each moment, die to the past and be born in the present. That will keep you fresh, young, vibrant, radiant; that will keep you alive, throbbing, excited, ecstatic. And a man who knows how to die each moment to the past knows how to die, and that is the greatest skill and art. So when death comes to such a man, he dances with it, he embraces it! — it is a friend, it is not the enemy. It is God coming to you in the form of death. It is total relaxation into existence. It is becoming again the whole, becoming one again with the whole.

So don’t call this perversion.

You say: “I come from a family where there are four suicides on the maternal side, including my grandmother.”

Don’t condemn those poor people, and don’t think for a moment that they were perverts.

“How does this affect one’s death? What helps to overcome this perversion of death which runs as a theme through the family?”

Don’t call it a perversion; it is not. Those people were simply victims. They could not cope with the neurotic society, and they decided to disappear into the unknown. Have compassion for them, don’t condemn. Don’t abuse them, don’t call names — don’t call it perversion or anything like that. Have compassion for them and love for them.

There is no need to follow them, but feel for them. They must have suffered a lot. One does not decide very easily to drop life: they must have suffered intensely; they must have seen the hell of life. One never decides easily for death, because to survive is a natural instinct. One goes on surviving in all kinds of situations and conditions. One goes on compromising — just to survive. When somebody drops his life that simply shows it is beyond his capacity to compromise; the demand is too much. The demand is so much that it is not worth it; then only one decides to commit suicide. Have compassion for those people.

And if you feel that something is wrong then something is wrong in the society, not in those people. The society is perverted! In a primitive society nobody commits suicide. I have been to primitive tribes in India: for centuries they have not known of anybody committing suicide. They don’t have any record of anybody ever having committed suicide. Why? The society is natural, the society is not perverted. It does not drive people to unnatural things. The society is accepting. It allows everybody his way, his choice to live his life. That is everybody’s right. Even if somebody goes mad, the society accepts it; it is his right to go mad. There is no condemnation. In fact, in a primitive society, mad people are respected like mystics — and they have a kind of mystery around them. If you look into a madman’s eyes and into the eyes of a mystic, there is some similarity — something vast, something undefined, something nebulous, something like a chaos out of which stars are born. The mystic and the madman have some similarity.

All madmen may not be mystics, but all mystics are mad. By ‘mad’ I mean they have gone beyond mind. The madman may have fallen below mind, and the mystic may have gone beyond mind, but one thing is similar — both are not in their minds. In a primitive society even the madman is respected, tremendously respected. If he decides to be mad, that’s okay. Society takes care for his food, for his shelter. Society loves him, loves his madness. Society has no fixed rule; then nobody commits suicide because freedom remains intact.

When society demands slavery and goes on destroying your freedom and crippling you from every side and paralyzing your soul and deadening your heart… one comes to feel it is better to die than to compromise.

Don’t call them perverts. Have compassion for them; they suffered a lot, they were victims. And try to understand what happened to them; that will give you an insight into your own life. And there is no need to repeat it, because I give you an opportunity to be yourself. I open a door for you. If you are understanding you will see the point of it, but if you are not understanding then it is difficult. I can go on shouting and you will hear only that which you can hear, and you will hear only that which you want to hear — that which you want to hear.

A psychologist friend has come: he has written a long question. He says: “Why do you go on saying drop the ego? Nobody has ever been able to drop the ego.”

Now how does he know it — that nobody has ever been able to drop the ego? He says it has not succeeded. How do you know? It has succeeded, although it has succeeded only with very rare and few people. But it has succeeded, and it has succeeded only with rare people because only those rare people allowed it to succeed. It can succeed with everybody, but people don’t allow it to succeed. They are not ready to lose their egos.

He is a psychologist, and he says, “Osho, I see in you too a great ego.” As a psychologist he says, “I see a great ego in you.”

Then you have not seen me at all. Then you have seen something which is your projection.

The ego goes on projecting itself. The ego goes on creating its own reality around itself, its own reflections.

Now, if you can see so deeply into me why have you come here? — you can see deeply into yourself. If you have such great insight, what is the point in coming here? — it is pointless. And if you have decided already that the ego cannot be dropped, that it is not possible, then you have taken a decision without even trying.

And I am not saying the ego can be dropped! I am saying the ego exists not! How can you drop something which doesn’t exist? And Buddha has not said that the ego has to be dropped, he is saying the ego has to be only looked into — and you don’t find it, hence it disappears.

What can you do then — when you go inside your being and you don’t find any ego, you find silence there; no self-dominating, no center like an ego there? Dropping the ego does not mean that you have to drop it. Dropping the ego is only a metaphor. It simply means that when you go in, you look in and you don’t find anything, the ego disappears. In fact, even to say ‘disappears’ is not right, because it was not there in the first place. It is a misunderstanding.

Now, rather than going into yourself you are looking at me. And you think you have looked into me! And because you are a psychoanalyst or a psychologist, then you decide. And your decision will become a barrier — because the ego does not exist in me! And I would like to declare: the ego does not exist in you! Even to this psychologist friend I will say: the ego does not exist in him. The ego exists not! It is a non-existential idea, just an idea.

It is like when you see a rope in the dark and you think it is a snake, and you start running, and you are out of breath, and you stumble upon a rock and you get a fracture, and by the morning you come to know that it was only a rope. But it worked tremendously! The snake was not there, but it affected your reality. A misunderstanding is as real as understanding. It is not true, but it is real! That is the difference between reality and truth. A snake seen in a rope is real, because its results, its consequences are going to be real. If you have a weak heart it can be very dangerous seeing a snake in a rope: you can run so fast that you can have heart failure. It can affect your whole life. And it looks so ridiculous; it was just a rope.

What I am saying, or what Buddha is saying is: Just take a lamp and go inside. Have a good look at whether the snake exists or not. Buddha has found it does not exist in him. I have found it does not exist in me. And the day I found it does not exist in me, I looked around into everybody’s eyes and I have never found it. It is an unfounded idea. It is a dream.

But if you are too full of the dream, you can even project it on me. And I cannot do anything about it. If you project, you project. It is as if you are wearing glasses, colored glasses, green glasses, and the whole world looks green. And you come to me and you say, “Osho, you are wearing a green dress.” What can I do? I can only say, “You just take off your glasses.” And you say, “Nobody has ever been able to take off his glasses. It has never happened!” Then it is difficult.

But it is not a problem for me; it is going to be a problem for you. I feel sorry for you, because if this is your idea then you will suffer your whole life — because ego creates suffering. An unreal idea, thought to be real, creates suffering. What is suffering really? Suffering is when you have some ideas which don’t correlate with the truth. Then there is suffering.

For example, you think stones are food and you eat them; then you suffer, then you have a great stomachache. But if it is real food then you don’t suffer, then you are satisfied. Suffering is created by ideas which don’t go with reality; bliss is created when you have ideas which go with reality. Bliss is a coherence between you and the truth; suffering is a dichotomy, a division between you and the truth. When you are not moving with truth you are in hell; when you are moving with truth you are in heaven — that’s all. And that is the whole thing to be understood.

Now this man comes from faraway America. Listening to my tapes, he started feeling for me. He has come here, but if this is his way of looking at things he will miss. And remember, it is not a problem for me. If you think I am a great egoist, thank you — it is not a problem for me. This is your idea, and you are perfectly entitled to have ideas. But if you are so certain about it, what is going to happen?

He says, “I have been to many holy saints of many religions, and they were all egoists.”

You must be wearing the same glasses everywhere. You go on creating your own reality, which is not true. That’s why Buddha insists so much on nothingness, on no-mind – because when the mind has no thoughts you cannot project anything. Then you have to see that which is. When you don’t have any ideas, when you are simply empty, a mirror mirroring, then whatsoever comes in front of you is mirrored. And it is mirrored as it is. But if you have ideas, then you distort. Thoughts are the media for distortion.

If you can see ego in me, you are really doing a miracle. But it is possible… and you can enjoy. But it is only you who will be harmed by your idea, nobody else. If this idea persists, then there will be no possibility of being bridged with me. At least for these few days that you are here, put your ideas aside. And one thing is certain: your psychology has not helped you, otherwise you would not need to be here at all.

Just the other day he was sitting in front of me and talking about his problems. And sometimes I wonder… he has so many problems, and he is a group leader. What will he be doing with people? What kind of help can come from him? And he has such a fat body and he cannot even change that; and he goes on stuffing himself. And these were his problems. And he was so afraid that he was insisting again and again to Laxmi that he needed a private interview, because, “I cannot say things before people.” Why? People will be seeing you, that you are fat. It doesn’t matter whether you say it or not. Everybody has eyes and they can see that you are fat, and that you go on stuffing. How will you avoid Vrindavan people? They will know.

He wanted to have a private interview so that he could tell his problems, and the problem was fatness — “I go on eating and I cannot stop; what should I do?” Your psychology has not even been of that much help, and you think your psychology is capable of knowing me, of seeing me? Don’t be deceived by your own games.

And you have not been to any holy men. I am not saying that they were not holy; I am simply saying that you may have been there, but you have not been with them. If you cannot be with me, how can you be with them? You have not been with any holy man. Wherever you went, you went with your psychology, with all the knowledge that you have gathered around yourself. And it is of no use to you. It is worthless! And you go on advising people. You will create the same kinds of traumas, complexes, in other people too. A therapist can be of help only when his advice is not only for others, but when his advice is his life, when he has lived it and has seen its truth.

You say that the teaching of the ages to drop the ego, drop the mind, has not worked. It has worked! It has worked for me; that’s why I say it has worked. I know it has not worked for you. But there is nothing wrong in the teaching, something is wrong in you; that’s why it is not working in you. It has worked in millions of people. And sometimes it happens that your neighbor may be an enlightened being and you may not be able to see.

It happened…

A seeker came from America. He had heard there was a great Sufi mystic in Dacca, in Bangladesh, so he came rushing — as Americans come. He came rushing: he simply jumped on Dacca! He caught hold of a taxi-driver and said, “Take me to this mystic!”

The taxi-driver laughed. He said, “You are really interested? Then you have found the right man. If you had asked any other taxi-driver, nobody would have known. I know this man. I have lived with this man for almost fifty years.”

“Fifty years? How old is he?” the American asked.

The taxi-driver said, “He is also fifty years old.”

He thought, “This man seems to be crazy!” He tried other taxi-drivers, but nobody knew the man so he had to come back to this crazy man.

And he said, “I had told you that nobody knows him. You come with me and I will take you.” And he took him — and Dacca is an old city and small streets and tiny — and he went zigzag here and there, for hours. And the American was feeling very happy, because the goal was coming closer and closer and closer. After three, four hours, they stopped before a small house, a very poor man’s house. And the taxi-driver said, “You wait, and I will arrange for the master.”

Then a woman came and she said, “The master is waiting for you.” And the man went in, and the taxi-driver was sitting there.

And he said, “Come on, my son, what do you have to ask?”

The American could not believe it. He said, “You are the master?”

He said, “I am the master, and I have lived with this man for fifty years; nobody else knows about it.” And it turned out that he was the master.

… But you have your ideas: “How can a taxi-driver be a master?” Just think of me as a taxi-driver… You will not believe — will you? Will this psychologist friend believe? It will be impossible.

You have ideas. Because of your ideas you go on missing many things that are around. The earth is never empty of masters. There are people everywhere, but you can’t see! And when you want to see them you go to the Vatican because you have some idea that the pope must be enlightened. In fact, how can an enlightened person be a pope? No enlightened person will agree to that nonsense. He may prefer to be a taxi-driver.

Please drop your ideas while you are here, for these few days. Open yourself, don’t be prejudiced from the very beginning that, “This has never happened.” This has happened! This has happened in me. You just look into my eyes, just feel me, and this can happen in you. There is nothing that is hindering it except these ideas, this knowledge. That’s why I say knowledge is a curse. Get rid of your knowledge and you will get rid of your pathology!

-Osho

From The Heart Sutra, Discourse #4

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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Utterly Empty and Yet Utterly Full – Osho

My question concerns the quantum leap. How to jump, where to jump and who or what is doing the jumping? 

Jamia, the meaning of the quantum leap is that you find nobody there inside you who can jump.

You find no place where you can jump and you find no means to jump. That is the meaning of a quantum leap. The quantum leap is not a leap, it is a disappearance. The quantum leap is utter discontinuity with the past. If it is continuous it is just a leap, not quantum. That is the meaning of the word “quantum”.

You have been somebody up to now; if you do something, then you will remain continuous with the past because the doer will be the past. If you ask how to take the quantum leap, who will use the methodology? The old, the past, the mind, the accumulated mind will use the methodology. But how will you become new? It is the old trying to become new. You may have new clothes, a new face, new varnish, but you will remain the same; you continue.

A quantum leap is a moment of understanding that the past is no more there, that it is just a memory, just a figment of imagination now; it has no reality. If the past is no more there, who are you? – because you consist only of your past.

Krishnamurti says, “The process of thought creates the thinker.” And he is right – it is not vice versa.

Ordinarily you think, “I am a thinker, hence the process of thought.” It is not so. There is no thinker in you but only a process of thought. And when you think about the whole process of thought and you take it together, the thinker is born.

The thinker is not there. Let thoughts disappear, and as thoughts disappear, the thinker will disappear. If there is no thought, there is no thinker inside. So ‘thinker’ is nothing but another name for the whole thought continuum.

If you can understand this – that the past is just nothing but thoughts – suddenly a great emptiness will arise in you, a great abyss. You are not, nobody is there inside. This is what Buddha calls anatta, no-self, no ego. In that moment when you cannot find yourself, the quantum leap has happened.

The Emperor Wu of China asked Bodhidharma, “My mind remains very tense, in anxiety. I am always feeling restless, uneasy. I never find any peace of mind. Help me, sir.”

Bodhidharma looked into his eyes. And that was not an ordinary look – Bodhidharma was a very ferocious Master. The king was a very brave man, had fought in many battles and won, but he started trembling when Bodhidharma looked into his eyes.

And he said, “Okay, come tomorrow, early in the morning at four o’clock, and bring your mind to me and I will put it at ease forever.”

When the king was going down the steps, Bodhidharma shouted again, “Listen, don’t forget to bring your mind! Come at four o’clock and bring your mind. And I am going to put it at ease forever!”

The king was a little puzzled. “What does he mean, ‘Bring the mind, don’t forget’? Can I come without the mind too? I and my mind are the same. This man looks mad! And the way he looked at me… those ferocious eyes… And he looks murderous too! And going alone, early in the morning at four o’clock when it is dark, to this madman… and one never knows what he will do, how he will treat me.”

But he could not sleep. Many times he decided not to go, but there was a great attraction too, something like a great magnetic pull. The man was ferocious, but there was great love in his eyes too. Both were there – his eyes were like swords and also like lotuses. He could not resist. He said, “I have to take this risk.” And at four o’clock he had to go.

Bodhidharma was waiting with his big staff. He told the king, “Sit in front of me. And where is your mind? I told you to bring it with you!”

And the king said, “What nonsense are you talking about? If I am here, so is my mind. Mind is something inside me. How can I forget it? How can I ‘bring’ it?”

Bodhidharma said, “So, one thing is certain: that mind is inside. So close your eyes and go inside and try to find it. And whenever you catch it, just tell me and I will put it at rest forever. But first it has to be caught, only then can I treat it.” The king closed his eyes. The whole thing was stupid, but there was nowhere to go now – it had to be done. He closed his eyes. And the Master was sitting there with his staff – and he might beat or he might hit, so it was no ordinary situation. He could not go to sleep. He had not slept the whole night – he had been thinking of whether to come or not to come… And the presence of the Master and the silence of the forest and the darkness of the night and the whole weird situation: that this man could even cut his head… He became very alert. The danger was such that he became very attentive. For the first time in his life he looked inside himself – what the book, The Secret of the Golden Flower, calls “turning the light inwards”. For the first time he looked inside, he searched inside. He really searched, sincerely he searched. And the more he searched, the more aware he became that there is no mind, there is nobody inside. It is an empty house; we had only believed in it. We have accepted others’ belief about the soul, the self, the ego. We never looked at it, we never checked it. And the more he found that there is nobody to be found, the more happy, joyous, he became. His face relaxed; a great grace surrounded him. Hours passed, but for him there was no question of time at all. He was sitting and sitting, and enjoying this blissfulness that he was tasting for the first time in his life.

Something immensely delightful was descending on him.

Then the sun started rising, and with the first rays of the sun, Bodhidharma said to him, “Sir, it is time enough! Now open your eyes. Have you found yourself inside or not?”

And the king opened his eyes, looked at the Master, saw the beauty, saw that the ferociousness was out of compassion, saw the love, bowed down, touched the feet of the Master and said, “You have put it at rest forever. It is not there. Now I know that I was creating an unnecessary fuss about something which doesn’t exist at all.”

This is the quantum leap. Searching inside you find you are not. Then there is no question of “how” and no question of “where”. It has already happened.

Jamia, I would like to tell you: just close your eyes for a few hours every day, become as alert as Emperor Wu became, remember me just in front of you with a sword in my hand, ready to cut you at any moment if you fall asleep, and go in. And, one day the quantum leap. You will know only when it has happened. You don’t do it, it is nothing of your doing, it is a happening. You can’t do it because you are the hindrance – how can you do it? There is nowhere to jump, nobody to jump, no method to jump. When all these three things have been realized, it has happened.

Then one lives as an emptiness, utterly empty and yet utterly full.

-Osho

From The Secret of Secrets, Discourse #8

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

An MP3 audio file of this discourse can be downloaded from Osho.com  or you can read the entire book online at the Osho Library.

Many of Osho’s books are available in the U.S. online from Amazon.com and Viha Osho Book Distributors. In India they are available from Amazon.in and Oshoworld.com.

All Feelings of Self are False – Osho

The void needs no reliance, Mahamudra rests on nought.

You cannot find more significant words ever uttered. Try to understand every nuance of what Tilopa is trying to say.

The void needs no reliance….

If there is something, it needs a support, it needs a reliance. But if there is nothing, emptiness, there is no need for any support. And this is the deepest realization of all the knowers: that your being is a non-being. To say it is a being is wrong because it is not something, it is not like something. It is
like nothing: a vast emptiness, with no boundaries to it. It is an anatma, a no-self; it is not a self inside you.

All feelings of self are false. All identifications that “I am this and that” are false.

When you come to the ultimate, when you come to your deepest core, you suddenly know that you are neither this nor that – you are no one. You are not an ego, you are just a vast emptiness. And sometimes if you sit, close your eyes and just feel who you are – where are you? And go deeper and you may become afraid, because the deeper you go, the deeper you feel that you are nobody, a nothingness. That’s why people become so scared of meditation. It is a death. It is a death of the ego – and the ego is just a false concept.

Now physicists have come to the same truth through their scientific research deepening into the realm of matter. What Buddha, Tilopa and Bodhidharma reached through their insight, science has been discovering in the outside world also. Now they say there is no substance – substance is a parallel concept of self.

A rock exists; you feel that it is very substantial. You can hit somebody’s head and blood will come out, even the man may die; it is very substantial. But ask the physicists: they say it is a no-substance, there is nothing in it. They say that it is just an energy phenomenon; many energy currents crisscrossing on this rock give it a feeling of substance. Just as you draw many lines crisscrossing on a piece of paper: where many lines cross a point, a point arises. The point was not there; two lines crossing and a point arises: many lines crossing and a big point arises. Is that point really there? Or just lines crossing give an illusion of a point being there?

Physicists say that energy currents crisscrossing create matter. And if you ask what are these energy currents – they are not material, they have no weight, they are non-material. Non-material lines crisscrossing give an illusion of a material thing, very substantial like a rock. Buddha achieved this illumination twenty-five centuries before Einstein, that inside there is nobody; only energy lines crisscrossing give you a feeling of the self. Buddha used to say that the self is just like an onion: you peel it, one layer comes off, another layer is there. You go on peeling, layer by layer, and what remains finally? The whole onion is peeled and you find nothing inside.

Man is just like an onion. You peel layers of thought, feeling, and finally, what do you find? A nothing.

This nothingness needs no support. This nothingness exists by itself. That’s why Buddha says there is no God; there is no need for a God because God is a support. And Buddha says there is no creator because there is no need to create a nothingness. This is one of the most difficult concepts to understand – unless you realize it.

That’s why Tilopa says:

Mahamudra is beyond all words and symbols.

Mahamudra is an experience of nothingness – simply you are not. And when you are not, then who is there to suffer? Who is there to be in pain and anguish? Who is there to be depressed and sad?

And who is there to be happy and blissful? Buddha says that if you feel you are blissful you will become again a victim of suffering, because you are still there. When you are not, completely not, utterly not, then there is no suffering and no bliss – and this is the real bliss. Then you cannot fall back. To attain nothingness is to attain all.

My whole effort with you is also to lead you towards nothingness, to lead you to a total vacuum.

The void needs no reliance, Mahamudra rests on nought. Without making an effort, but remaining loose and natural, one can break the yoke – thus gaining liberation.

The first thing to understand is that the concept of self is created by the mind – there is no self in you.

It happened: a great Buddhist, a man of enlightenment, was invited by a king to teach him. The name of the Buddhist monk was Nagasen, and the king was a viceroy of Alexander. When Alexander went back from India, he left Minander as his viceroy here; his Indian name is Milanda. Milanda asked Nagasen to come and teach him. He was really interested, and he had heard many stories about Nagasen. And many rumors had come to the court: “This is a rare phenomenon! Rarely it happens that a man flowers, and this man has flowered. He has an aroma of something unknown around him, a mysterious energy. He walks on the earth, but he is not of the earth.” He became interested; he invited him.

The messenger who went to Nagasen came back very much puzzled, because Nagasen said, “Yes, if he invites, Nagasen will come – but tell him there is no one like Nagasen. If he invites I will come, but tell him exactly that there is no one like ‘I am.’ I am no more.” The messenger was puzzled, because if Nagasen is no more, then who will come? And Milanda was also puzzled. He said, “This man talks in puzzles. But let him come.” And he was a Greek, this Milanda, and the Greek mind is basically logical.

There are only two minds in the world, the Indian and the Greek. The Indian is illogical, and the Greek is logical. The Indian moves into the dark depths, wild depths, where are no boundaries, everything is vague, cloudy. The Greek mind walks on the logical, the straight, where everything is defined and classified. The Greek mind moves into the known. The Indian mind moves into the unknown, and even more into the unknowable. The Greek mind is absolutely rational; the Indian mind is absolutely contradictory. So if you find too many contradictions in me, don’t be bothered. It is the way… in the East contradiction is the way to relate.

Milanda said, “This man seems to be irrational, gone mad. If he is not then how can he come? But let him come, I will see. I will prove: just by coming he is proving that he is.”

Then came Nagasen. Milanda received him at the gate and the first thing he asked, he said, “I am puzzled: you have come and still you said that you are not.”

Nagasen said, “Still I say. So let us settle it here.”

A crowd gathered, the whole court came there, and Nagasen said, “You ask.”

Milanda asked, “First tell me: if something is not, how can it come? In the first place it is not, then there is no possibility of its coming – and you have come. It is simple logic that you are.” Nagasen laughed and he said, “Look at this ratha” – the bullock cart on which he had come. He said, “Look at this. You call it a ratha, a cart.”

Milanda said, “Yes.”

Then he told his followers to remove the bullocks. The bullocks were removed and Nagasen asked, “Are these bullocks the cart?”

Milanda said, “Of course not.”

Then, by and by, everything from the cart was removed, every part. Wheels were removed and he asked, “Are these wheels the cart?”

And Milanda said, “Of course not!”

When everything was removed and there was nothing, then Nagasen asked, “Where is the cart I had come in?… and we never removed the cart, and all that we have removed you confirmed that this is not the cart. Now where is the cart?”

Nagasen said, “Just like this Nagasen exists. Remove parts and he will disappear.” Just crisscrossing lines of energy: remove the lines and the dot will disappear. The cart is just a combination of parts.

You are also a combination of parts, the “I” is a combination of parts. Remove things and the “I” will disappear. That’s why when thoughts are removed from consciousness, you cannot say “I,” because there is no “I” – just a vacuum is left. When feelings are removed, the self disappears completely.

You are and yet not: just an absence, with no boundaries, emptiness.

This is the final attainment, this state is Mahamudra, because only in that state you can have an orgasm with the whole. Now there is no boundary, no self exists; now there is no boundary to you to divide.

The whole has no boundaries. You must become like the whole – only then there can be a meeting, a merger. When you are empty, you are without boundaries. Suddenly you become the whole. When you are not, you become the whole. When you are, you become an ugly ego. When you are not, you have all the expanse of existence for your being to be.

But these are contradictions. So try to understand: become a little like Naropa, otherwise these words and symbols will not carry anything to you. Listen to me in trust. And when I say listen in trust, I mean I have known this. This is so. I am a witness, I bear witness for it. This is so. It may not be possible to say it, but that doesn’t mean that it is not. It may be possible to say something, that doesn’t mean that it is. You can say something which is not, and you may be incapable of saying something which is. I bear witness about it, but you will be able to understand me only if you are a Naropa, if you listen in trust.

I am not teaching a doctrine. I would not have been at all concerned with Tilopa if this was not my own experience also. Tilopa has said it well:

The void needs no reliance Mahamudra rests on nought.

On nothing Mahamudra rests. Mahamudra, the literal word, means the great gesture, or the ultimate gesture, the last that you can have, beyond which nothing is possible. Mahamudra rests on nothing. You be a nothing, and then all is attained. You die, and you become a god. You disappear, and you become the whole. Here the drop disappears, and there the ocean comes into existence.

Don’t cling to yourself – that’s all you have been doing all your past lives: clinging, afraid that if you don’t cling to the ego, then you look down: a bottomless abyss is there….

That’s why we cling to tiny things, really trivial, we go on clinging to them. The clinging shows only that you are also aware of a vast emptiness inside. Something is needed to cling to, but your clinging
is your samsara, is your misery. Leave yourself in the abyss. And once you leave yourself in the abyss, you become the abyss itself. Then there is no death, because how can an abyss die? Then there is no end to it, because how can a nothingness end? Something can end, will have to end –
only nothing can be eternal. Mahamudra rests on nothing.

Let me explain it to you through some experience that you have got. When you love a person, you have to become a nothing. When you love a person, you have to become a no-self. That’s why love is so difficult. And that’s why Jesus says God is like love. He knows something about Mahamudra –
because before he started teaching in Jerusalem, he has been to India. He has been to Tibet also. He met people like Tilopa and Naropa. He remained in Buddhist monasteries. He learned about what it is that these people call nothingness. Then he tried to translate his whole understanding into
Jewish terminology. There everything got messed up.

You cannot translate Buddhist understanding into Jewish terminology. It is impossible, because the whole Jewish terminology depends on positive terms, and the Buddhist terminology depends on absolutely nihilistic terms: nothingness, emptiness. But here and there in Jesus’ words there are
glimpses. He says, “God is love.” He is indicating something. What is the indication? When you love, you have to become nobody. If you remain somebody, then love never happens.

When you love a person – even for a single moment love happens and flows between two persons – there are two nothingnesses, not two persons. If you have ever had any experience of love, you can understand.

Two lovers sitting by each other’s side, or two nothingnesses sitting together – only then the meeting is possible because barriers are broken, boundaries thrown away. The energy can move from here to there; there is no hindrance. And only in such a moment of deep love is orgasm possible.

When two lovers are making love, and if they are both no-selves, nothingnesses, then orgasm happens. Then their body energy, their whole being, loses all identity; they are no more themselves – they have fallen into the abyss. But this can happen only for a moment: again they regain, again they start clinging. That’s why people become afraid in love also.

In deep love people are afraid of becoming mad, or going to die – of what will happen. The abyss opens its mouth, the whole existence yawns, and you are suddenly there and you can fall into it. One becomes scared of love, then people remain satisfied with sex and they call their sex “love.”

Love is not sex. Sex can happen in love, it can be a part, integral part to it, but sex itself is not love – it is a substitute. You are trying to avoid love through sex. You are giving yourself a feeling that you are in love, and you are not moving into love. Sex is just like borrowed knowledge: giving a feeling of knowing without knowing; giving a feeling of love and loving without loving.

In love you are not, the other is also not: then only, suddenly, the two disappear. The same happens in Mahamudra. Mahamudra is a total orgasm with the whole existence.

That’s why in Tantra – and Tilopa is a Tantra master – deep intercourse, orgasmic intercourse, between lovers is also called Mahamudra, and two lovers in a deep orgasmic state are pictured in tantric temples, in tantric books. That has become a symbol of the final orgasm.

-Osho

Excerpt from Tantra: The Supreme Understanding, Discourse #1

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

An MP3 audio file of this discourse can be downloaded from Osho.com  or you can read the entire book online at the Osho Library.

Many of Osho’s books are available in the U.S. online from Amazon.com and Viha Osho Book Distributors. In India they are available from Amazon.in and Oshoworld.com.

Start from the Outer – Osho

On the path of meditation many seekers find it difficult to know clearly whether they are making any progress or whether they are just suspended on one plane, simply moving in repetitions. Will you please explain in detail about those factors which indicate the meditator’s constant progress?

When meditating, working on yourself, if you wonder whether you are making any progress or not, know well that you are not making any progress – because when progress is made you know it. Why? It is just like when you are ill and you are taking medicine. Won’t you be able to feel whether you are getting healthy or not? If you do not feel it and the question arises whether you are getting well or not, know well that you are not getting well. Well-being is such a clear feeling that when you have it you know it.

But why does this question arise? This question arises for so many reasons. One, you are not really working. You are just deceiving yourself. You are playing tricks with yourself. Then you are less concerned with what you are doing and more concerned with what is happening. If you are really doing it, you can leave the result to the Divine. But our minds are such that we are less concerned with the cause and more concerned with the effect – because of greed.

Greed wants to have everything without doing anything. So the greedy mind goes on moving ahead. Then the greedy mind asks, “What is happening? Is something happening or not?” Be really concerned with what you are doing, and when something happens you will know it. It is going to happen to you. You need not ask anyone.

Another reason for asking this question is that we think that there are going to be some signs, some symbols, some milestones we can reach that show: “I have progressed so much,” that “to this plane or to that plane I have reached so much.” We want to calculate before the ultimate goal is reached. We want to be confident that we are progressing.

But, really, there are no milestones – because there is no fixed road. And everyone is on a different road; we are not on one road. Even if you are following one technique of meditation, you are not on the same road; you cannot be. There is no public path. Every path is individual and personal. So no one’s experiences on the path will be helpful to you; rather, they may be damaging.

Someone may be seeing something on his path. If he says to you that this is the sign of progress you may not meet the same sign on your path. The same trees may not be on your path; the same stones may not be on your path. So do not be a victim of all this nonsense. Only certain inner feelings are relevant. For example, if you are progressing, then certain things will begin to happen spontaneously. One, you will feel more and more contentment.

Really, when meditation is completely fulfilled, one becomes so contented that he forgets to meditate – because meditation is an effort, a discontent. If one day you forget to meditate and you do not feel any addiction, you do not feel any gap, you are as filled as ever, then know it is a good sign. There are many who will do meditation, and then if they are not doing it a strange phenomenon happens to them. If they do it, they do not feel anything. If they do not do it, then they feel the gap. If they do it, nothing happens to them. If they do not do it, then they feel that something is missing.

This is just a habit. Like smoking, like drinking, like anything, this is just a habit. Do not make meditation a habit. Let it be alive! Then discontent will disappear by and by; you will feel contentment. And not only while you are meditating. If something happens only while you are meditating, it is false! It is hypnotic! It does some good, but it is not going to be very deep. It is good only in comparison. If there is nothing happening, no meditation, no blissful moment, do not worry about it. If something is happening, do not cling to it. If meditation is going rightly, deep, you will feel transformed throughout the whole day. A subtle contentment will be present every moment. With whatsoever you are doing, you will feel a cool center inside – contentment.

Of course, there will be results. Anger will be less and less possible. It will go on disappearing. Why? Because anger shows a non-meditative mind – a mind that is not at ease with itself. That is why you get angry with others. Basically, you are angry with yourself. Because you are angry with yourself, you go on getting angry with others. 

Have you observed that you get angry only with those people who are very intimate with you? The more the intimacy, the more the anger. Why? The greater the gap between you and the person the less the anger that will be there. You do not get angry with a stranger. You get angry with your wife, with your husband, with your son, with your daughter, with your mother. Why? Why do you get more angry with the persons who are more intimate with you?

The reason is this: you are angry with yourself. The more intimate a person is with you, the more he has become identified with you. You are angry with yourself, so whenever someone is near to you. you can throw your anger upon him. He has become part of you. With meditation you will be more and more happy with yourself – remember, with yourself.

It is a miracle when someone becomes happier with himself. For us, either we are happy with someone or angry with someone. When one becomes happier with oneself, this is really falling in love with oneself. And when you are in love with yourself, it is difficult to be angry. The whole thing becomes absurd. Less and less anger will be there, more and more love, and more compassion. These will be signs – the general signs.

So do not think you are achieving much if you are beginning to see light or if you go on seeing beautiful colors. They are good, but do not feel satisfied unless real psychological changes are there: less anger, more love; less cruelty, more compassion.

Unless this happens your seeing lights and colors and hearing sounds are child’s play. They are beautiful, very beautiful; it is good to play with them – but that is not the aim of meditation. They happen on the road, they are just by-products, but do not be concerned.

Many people will come to me and they will say, “Now I am seeing a blue light, so what does this sign mean? How much have I progressed?” A blue light will not do because your anger is giving a red light. Basic psychological changes are meaningful, so do not go for toys. These are toys, spiritual toys, but you can become a paramahansa if you see a blue light!

These things are not the ends. In a relationship, observe what is happening. How are you behaving toward your wife now? Observe it. Is there any change? That change is meaningful. How are you behaving with your servant? Is there any change? That change is significant. And if there is no change, then throw your blue light. It is of no help. You are deceiving and you can go on deceiving. These are easily achieved tricks.

That is why a so-called religious man begins to feel himself religious: because now he is seeing this and that, but he remains the same. He even becomes worse! Your progress must be observed in your relationships. Relationship is the mirror: see your face there. Always remember that relationship is the mirror. If your meditation is going deep, your relationships will become different – totally different! Love will be the basic note of your relationships, not violence. As it is, violence is the basic note. Even if you look at someone, you look in a violent way. But you are accustomed to it.

Meditation for me is not a child’s play. It is a deep transformation. How to know this transformation?  It is being reflected every moment in your relationships. Do you try to possess someone? Then you are violent. How can one possess anyone? Are you trying to dominate someone? Then you are violent. How can one dominate anyone? Love cannot dominate, love cannot possess. 

So whatsoever you are doing, be aware, observe it, and then go on meditating. Soon you will begin to feel the change. Now there is no possessiveness in relationships. By and by, possessiveness disappears, and when possessiveness is not there relationship has a beauty of its own. When possessiveness is there, everything becomes dirty, ugly, inhuman. But we are such deceivers that we will not look at ourselves in relationships – because there the real face can be seen. So we close our eyes to our relationships and we go on thinking that something is going to be seen inside.

You cannot see anything inside. First you will feel your inner transformation in your outer relationships, and then you will go deep. Then only will you begin to feel something inner. But we have a settled attitude about ourselves. We do not want to look into our relationships at all because then the naked face comes up.

Mulla Nasrudin’s marriage was arranged by his father. It was an arranged marriage, so Mulla had not seen the face of his would-be wife. Then on the wedding day, when the ceremony was over, the wife unveiled her face. She was terribly ugly, and while Mulla was just stunned by the shock she asked, “Now tell me, my love, your commands.” That is a Mohammedan system. The first thing the wife asks is, “Tell me your commands, my love. To whom do I have to remain veiled? To whom am I allowed to show my face?”

Mulla Nasrudin said – rather, groaned – “You can show your face to anyone you like, as long as you do not show it to me! This is a contract.”

We are also in a contract with ourselves. We go on showing our faces to everyone, but never to ourselves. That is a deep contract we have with ourselves – not to feel one’s face. And the way to remain veiled is not to look into your relationships, because relationship is the only mirror. So probe, penetrate into your relationships, and look there to see whether your meditation is progressing or not.

If you feel a growing love, unconditional love, if you feel a compassion without cause, if you feel a deep concern for everyone’s welfare, well-being, your meditation is growing. Then forget all other things. With this observation you will also observe many things in yourself. You will be more silent, less noise within. When there is need you will talk, when there is no need you will be silent. As the case is now, you cannot be silent within. You will feel more at ease, relaxed. Whatsoever you are doing, it will be a relaxed effort; there will be no strain. You will become less and less ambitious.

Ultimately, there will be no ambition. Even the ambition to reach moksha will not be there. When you feel that even the desire to reach moksha has disappeared, you have reached moksha. Now you are free, because desire is the bondage. Even the desire for liberation is bondage. Even the desire to be desireless is bondage.

Whenever the desire for anything disappears, you move into the unknown. The meditation has reached to its end. Then samsara is moksha. Then this very world is liberation. Then this shore is the other shore. But do not go for childish signs. Do not go! They are easy to create. If you think, if you imagine, you can create them.

I do not mean that every feeling of those signs is imagination, but if you think in those terms you can imagine them. If you think that a blue light will happen at a particular stage, you can create it without reaching to that stage. This is very easy; to reach to that stage is very difficult. To create this blue light is very easy. Close your eyes, concentrate on it, and within a few days you will begin to feel it. Then your ego will be strengthened. Now you are “on a spiritual path”. Think of kundalini, and you will begin to feel it in your spine. That is imagination. It is easy, not difficult. But then you are misleading yourself.

I do not say that every experience of that type is imagination, but if you are concerned, it is going to be imagination. Forget it completely. Be concerned with meditation, with your changing relationships, with your silence, with your contentment, with your love. Be concerned with these, and suddenly sometimes, there will be an upsurge of energy into your spine. But do not be concerned with it. Note it down and forget it. Suddenly, you will see a particular light: note it and forget. Suddenly a particular chakra will begin to revolve: note it and forget it. Do not be concerned with it. Your concern is harmful. Remain concerned with contentment, peace, silence, love, compassion, meditation.

These things will go on happening. Then they are real. When you are not concerned and they happen, then they are real. And they show many things, but you need not know what they show because when they happen you know what they are showing. Because the human mind is stupid, if I tell you what they show you will be less concerned with love, silence and compassion. These are very difficult things. It is easy to create a blue light and it is very easy to feel a snake rising in your spine. It is very easy; there is nothing difficult about it.

So, remember, there are two types of inner experience. One type is created by your imagination, another is of happenings. But for happenings, you are not needed; for imagination you are. Do not play with imagination. It is a dangerous game. One can imagine anything, you can imagine anything, but that is not going to help you in any way. And the mind is such that it always tries to find some false substitute, because false substitutes are cheap.

If you have to grow a real rose in your garden, it takes time. It demands patience, effort, and then too nothing is certain. The rose may come, it may not come. It is easy to buy a rose, but then it is not yours. It looks just as if it has come up in your garden, but it has not come up. When you purchase a rose-flower, it has no roots in you: it is just in your hand. It has not been a part of your being. You have never waited for it; you were not patient for it. It is not a child – not your child. You have purchased it. It is there, but like a foreign element in you, not an inner growth.

But there are even more cunning people. They will not purchase a real flower. They will purchase a paper flower, a plastic flower, because it is more permanent. A real flower will fade away. By the evening it will be no more – “So purchase a plastic flower! It is economical, less troublesome, permanent!” But then you are deceiving. Real growth needs time, patience, work. Imaginative growth is imitation. Remember this distinction always.

One thing more: whatsoever you are doing, do not think that results will be coming in the future. If you are doing something real, results are here and now. In inner work, if you have meditated today, results are not going to be tomorrow. If you have meditated today. the perfume of it, howsoever little, will be there. If you are sensitive you can feel it. Whenever something real is done, it affects you here and now.

So do not think that something will happen in the future. If whatsoever you are doing is not changing you now, it is not going to change you at all. Time will not help. Time alone will not help. Time will deepen it, but time alone will not help.

But you may not be sensitive. Whatsoever you are doing, you may not be sensitive. We have become insensitive because in insensitivity there is a certain security. If you do not feel much, you suffer less. The person who feels much suffers much. Because of this, we have tried to make ourselves insensitive. So when something happens so intensely that it is impossible to avoid it, then only do we become aware. Otherwise we go dead, asleep. We move on. That insensitivity will create problems. Then when you meditate, you will not be sensitive to what is happening to you.

So be more sensitive. And you cannot be sensitive in one dimension. Either one is sensitive in all dimensions or one is not sensitive in any. Sensitivity belongs to your total being. So be more sensitive; then every day you will be able to feel what is happening.

For example, you are walking under the sun, feel the rays on your face; be sensitive. A subtle touch is there. They are hitting you. If you can feel them, then you will also feel the inner light when it hits you; otherwise you will not be able to.

When you are lying in a park, feel the grass. Feel the greenness that surrounds you, feel the difference of moisture, feel the odor that comes from the earth. If you cannot feel it, you will not be able to feel when inner things begin to happen. Then you will go on asking whether you are progressing or not.

Start from the outer, because that is easier. And if you cannot feel the outer, you cannot feel the inner. Be more poetic and less businesslike in life. And sometimes it costs nothing to be sensitive. You are taking your bath: have you felt the water? You simply take it as a business routine, and then you are out. Feel it for a few minutes. Just be under the shower and feel the water: feel it flowing on you. It can become a deep experience, because water is life. You are ninety percent water. And if you cannot feel water falling on you, you will not be able to feel the inner tides of your own water.

Life was born in the sea and you have some water within your body with a certain quantity of salt. Go on swimming in the sea and feel the water outside. Soon you will know that you are part of the sea and that the inner part belongs to the sea. Then you can feel that also. And when the moon is there and the ocean is waving in response to it, your body will also wave in response. It waves, but you cannot feel it. So if you cannot feel such gross things, it will be difficult for you to feel such subtle things as meditation.

How can you feel love? Everyone is suffering. I have seen thousands and thousands of people deeply in pain. The suffering is for love. They want to love and they want to be loved, but the problem is that if you ever love them they cannot feel it. They will go on asking, “Do you love me?” So what to do? If you say yes, they won’t believe it because they cannot feel it. If you say no, they feel hurt.

If you cannot feel sun rays, if you cannot feel rains, if you cannot feel grass, if you cannot feel anything that surrounds you – the atmosphere, then you cannot feel deeper things such as love or compassion; it is very difficult. You can feel only anger, violence, sadness, because they are so crude. Subtle is the path that goes inward – and the more subtle your meditation goes, the more subtle will be the feelings. But then you have to be ready. 

So meditation is not just a certain thing which you do for one hour and forget. Really, the whole life has to be meditative. Only then will you begin to feel things. And when I say that the whole life is to be meditative, I do not mean to go and close your eyes for twenty-four hours and sit and meditate – no! Wherever you are you can be sensitive and that sensitivity will pay. Then there will be no need to ask, “Am I progressing or not?”

You are like a blind man. You cannot feel the path because you have never felt anything. And the way we are taught, educated, cultivated, is for insensitivity. A child is weeping; the whole house is against him: “Do not weep! Guests are coming.” Guests are very important, and the child weeping is not at all important. Now you are crushing him for his whole life.

He will stop his weeping, but to-stop weeping is a serious affair. It will change the whole metabolism of his body. To stop weeping he will have to be tense; he cannot be relaxed. He has to push something under which is coming up. He will have to change his breathing. Really, he will stop his breathing – because if the breathing moves easily, weeping will move with it. He will pull in his stomach; everything will be disturbed in his body. Then he will not weep, but he cannot laugh either. Then you are crippling him for his whole life.

Everyone is crippled and paralyzed. We live in a paralyzed world. Now there will be continuous suppression. He cannot laugh, he cannot weep, he cannot dance, he cannot jump. Whatsoever his body feels to do, he cannot do. Whenever the body feels to have something, it cannot have it. And then, when you allow him to play, it is not spontaneous. Even his play becomes fake. You say, “Now you can play.” He was not allowed to play when his whole being was ready to play, and now you tell him to play. But now he tries to play, and it is a work.

Ultimately we create a human being who is more or less an automaton. Can you weep? Can you laugh spontaneously? Can you dance spontaneously? Can you love spontaneously? If you cannot, how can you meditate? Can you play? It is difficult!

Everything has become difficult. Man has become insensitive. Bring your sensitivity back again. Reclaim it! Play a little! To be playful is to be religious. Laugh, weep, sing, do something spontaneously with your full heart. Relax your body, relax your breathing, and move as if you are a child again. Then when you meditate, you will not ask, “What is happening to me? Am I progressing or not, or am I moving in a circle?” You will know.

I understand your difficulty. You cannot feel it now because you have lost feeling. Regain feeling – less thought, more feeling. Live more by heart, less by head. Sometimes, live totally in the body; forget about soul, Self, atman. Live totally in the body – because if you cannot even feel your body, you are not going to feel your soul. Remember this. Come back into the body. We are really hanging around the body; we are not in the body. Everyone is afraid to be in the body. Society has created the fear; it is deep-rooted. Go back into your body; move again; be like an innocent animal.

Look at animals jumping, running. Sometimes run and jump like them, then you will come back to your body. Then you will be able to feel your body, the rays of the sun, the rains, and the wind blowing. Only with this capacity of being aware of all things happening around you will you develop the capacity to feel what is happening within.

-Osho

From The Ultimate Alchemy, V.2, Chapter 18

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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A Bridge to No-body – Osho

Truth is always here. It is already the case. It is not something to be achieved in the future. You are the truth just here and now, so it is not something which is to be created or something which is to be devised or something which is to be sought. Understand this very clearly; then these techniques will be easy to understand and also to do.

Mind is a mechanism of desiring. Mind is always in desire, always seeking something, asking for something. Always the object is in the future; mind is not concerned with the present at all. In this very moment the mind cannot move – there is no space. The mind needs the future in order to move. It can move either in the past or in the future. It cannot move in the present; there is no space. The truth is in the present, and mind is always in the future or in the past, so there is no meeting between mind and truth.

When the mind is seeking worldly objects it is not so difficult, the problem is not absurd; it can be solved. But when the mind starts seeking the truth the very effort becomes nonsense, because the truth is here and now and the mind is always then and there. There is no meeting. So understand the first thing: you cannot seek truth. You can find it, but you cannot seek it. The very seeking is the hindrance.

The moment you start seeking you have moved away from the present, away from yourself, because you are always in the present. The seeker is always in the present and the seeking is in the future, you are not going to meet whatsoever you are seeking. Lao Tzu says, “Seek not; otherwise you will miss. Seek not and find. Don’t seek and find.”

All these techniques of Shiva’s are simply turning the mind from the future or the past to the present. That which you are seeking is already there, it is the case already. The mind has to be turned from seeking to non-seeking. It is difficult. If you think about it intellectually it is very difficult. How to turn the mind from seeking to non-seeking? – Because then the mind makes non-seeking itself the object! Then the mind says, “Don’t seek.” Then the mind says, “I should not seek.” Then the mind says, “Now non-seeking is my object. Now I desire the state of desirelessness.” The seeking has entered again, the desire has come again through the back door. That is why there are people who are seeking worldly objects, and there are people who think they are seeking non-worldly objects. All objects are worldly because “seeking” is the world.

So you cannot seek anything non-worldly. The moment you seek, it becomes the world. If you are seeking God, your God is part of the world. If you are seeking moksha – liberation – nirvana, your liberation is part of the world, your liberation is not something that transcends the world, because seeking is the world, desiring is the world. So you cannot desire nirvana, you cannot desire non-desire. If you try to understand intellectually, it will become a puzzle.

Shiva says nothing about it, he immediately proceeds to give techniques. They are non-intellectual. He doesn’t say to Devi, “The truth is here. Don’t seek it and you will find it.” He immediately gives techniques. Those techniques are non-intellectual. Do them, and the mind turns. The turning is just a consequence, just a by-product – not an object. The turning is just a by-product.

If you do a technique, your mind will turn from its journey into the future or the past. Suddenly you will find yourself in the present. That is why Buddha has given techniques, Lao Tzu has given techniques, Krishna has given techniques. But they always introduce their techniques with intellectual concepts. Only Shiva is different. He immediately gives techniques, and no intellectual understanding, no intellectual introduction, because he knows that the mind is tricky, the most cunning thing possible. It can turn anything into a problem. Non-seeking will become the problem.

There are people who come to me who ask how not to desire. They are desiring non-desire. Somebody has told them, or they have read somewhere, or they have heard spiritual gossip that if you do not desire you will reach bliss, if you do not desire you will be free, if you do not desire there will be no suffering. Now their minds hanker to attain that state where there is no suffering, so they ask how not to desire. Their minds are playing tricks. They are still desiring, it is only that now the object has changed. They were desiring money, they were desiring fame, they were desiring prestige, they were desiring power. Now they are desiring non-desire. Only the object has changed, and they remain the same and their desiring remains the same. But now the desire has become more deceptive.

Because of this, Shiva proceeds immediately with no introduction whatsoever. He immediately starts talking about techniques. Those techniques, if followed, suddenly turn your mind: it comes to the present. And when the mind comes to the present it stops, it is no more. You cannot be a mind in the present; that is impossible. Just now, if you are here and now, how can you be a mind? Thoughts cease because they cannot move. The present has no space in which to move; you cannot think. If you are in this very moment, how can you move? Mind stops, you attain to no-mind.

So the real thing is how to be here and now. You can try, but effort may prove futile – because if you make it a point to be in the present, then this point has moved into the future. When you ask how to be in the present, again you are asking about the future. This moment is passing in the inquiry, “How to be present? How to be here and now?” This present moment is passing in the inquiry, and your mind will begin to weave and create dreams in the future: some day you will be in a state of mind where there is no movement, no motive, no seeking, and then there will be bliss – so how to be in the present?

Shiva doesn’t say anything about it, he simply gives a technique. You do it, and suddenly you find you are here and now. And your being here and now is the truth, and your being here and now is the freedom, and your being here and now is the nirvana.

The first nine techniques are concerned with breathing. So let us understand something about breathing, and then we will proceed to the techniques. We are breathing continuously from the moment of birth to the moment of death. Everything changes between these two points. Everything changes, nothing remains the same, only breathing is a constant thing between birth and death.

The child will become a youth; the youth will become old. He will be diseased, his body will become ugly, ill, everything will change. He will be happy, unhappy, in suffering; everything will go on changing. But whatsoever happens between these two points, one must breathe. Whether happy or unhappy, young or old, successful or unsuccessful – whatsoever you are, it is irrelevant – one thing is certain: between these two points of birth and death you must breathe.

Breathing will be a continuous flow; no gap is possible. If even for a single moment you forget to breathe, you will be no more. That is why you are not required to breathe, because then it would be difficult. Someone might forget to breathe for a single moment, and then nothing could be done. So, really, you are not breathing, because you are not needed. You are fast asleep, and breathing goes on; you are unconscious, and breathing goes on; you are in a deep coma, and breathing goes on. YOU are not required; breathing is something which goes on in spite of you.

It is one of the constant factors in your personality – that is the first thing. It is something which is very essential and basic to life – that is the second thing. You cannot be alive without breath. So breath and life have become synonymous. Breathing is the mechanism of life, and life is deeply related with breathing. That is why in India we call it prana. We have given one word for both – prana means the vitality, the aliveness. Your life is your breath.

Thirdly, your breath is a bridge between you and your body. Constantly, breath is bridging you to your body, connecting you, relating you to your body. Not only is the breath a bridge to your body, it is also a bridge between you and the universe. The body is just the universe which has come to you, which is nearer to you.

Your body is part of the universe. Everything in the body is part of the universe – every particle, every cell. It is the nearest approach to the universe. Breath is the bridge. If the bridge is broken, you are no more in the body. If the bridge is broken, you are no more in the universe. You move into some unknown dimension; then you cannot be found in space and time. So, thirdly, breath is also the bridge between you, and space and time.

Breath, therefore, becomes very significant – the most significant thing. So the first nine techniques are concerned with breath. If you can do something with the breath, you will suddenly turn to the present. If you can do something with breath, you will attain to the source of life. If you can do something with breath, you can transcend time and space. If you can do something with breath, you will be in the world and also beyond it.

Breath has two points. One is where it touches the body and the universe, and another is where it touches you and that which transcends the universe. We know only one part of the breath. When it moves into the universe, into the body, we know it. But it is always moving from the body to the “no-body,” from the “no-body” to the body. We do not know the other point. If you become aware of the other point, the other part of the bridge, the other pole of the bridge, suddenly you will be transformed, transplanted into a different dimension.

But remember, what Shiva is going to say is not yoga, it is tantra. Yoga also works on breath, but the work of yoga and tantra is basically different. Yoga tries to systematize breathing. If you systematize your breathing your health will improve. If you systematize your breathing, if you know the secrets of breathing, your life will become longer; you will be more healthy and you will live longer. You will be stronger, more filled with energy, more vital, alive, young, fresh.

But tantra is not concerned with that. Tantra is concerned not with any systematization of breath, but with using breath just as a technique to turn inward. One has not to practice a particular style of breathing, a particular system of breathing or a particular rhythm of breathing – no! One has to take breathing as it is. One has just to become aware of certain points in the breathing.

There are certain points, but we are not aware of them. We have been breathing and we will go on breathing – we are born breathing and we will die breathing – but we are not aware of certain points.

And this is strange. Man is searching, probing deep into space. Man is going to the moon; man is trying to reach farther, from earth into space, and man has not yet learned the nearest part of his life. There are certain points in breathing which you have never observed, and those points are the doors – the nearest doors to you from where you can enter into a different world, into a different being, into a different consciousness. But they are very subtle.

To observe a moon is not very difficult. Even to reach the moon is not very difficult; it is a gross journey. You need mechanization, you need technology, you need accumulated information, and then you can reach it. Breathing is the nearest thing to you, and the nearer a thing is, the more difficult it is to perceive it. The nearer it is, the more difficult; the more obvious it is, the more difficult. It is so near to you that again there is no space between you and your breathing. Or, there is such a small space that you will need a very minute observation, only then will you become aware of certain  points. These points are the basis of these techniques.

-Osho

From The Book of Secrets, Discourse #3

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

Osho describes the first technique here Between Two Breaths.

An MP3 audio file of this discourse can be downloaded from Osho.com, or you can read the entire book online at the Osho Library.

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I am Not Asking You to Start Seeing God in Everything – Osho

The method that you have shown us for realizing the truth or the universal self is of negating everything and knowing oneself. Is the opposite of it not also possible: that we try to see the universal self in all, that we feel it in the whole?

It will be helpful to understand this.

One who cannot realize godliness within himself can never realize it in all. One who has not yet recognized godliness within himself can never recognize it in others. The self means that which is nearest to you; then anyone who is at a little distance from you will have to be considered as being farther away. And if you cannot see godliness in yourself, which is nearest you, you cannot possibly see it in those far from you. First you will have to know godliness in yourself; first the knower will have to know the divine — that is the nearest door.

But remember, it is very interesting that the individual who enters his self suddenly finds the entrance to all. The door to one’s self is the door to all. No sooner does a man enter his self than he finds he has entered all, because although we are outwardly different, inwardly we are not.

Outwardly, all leaves are different from each other. But if a person could penetrate just one leaf, he would reach to the source of the tree where all the leaves are in unison. Seen individually, each leaf is different — but once you have known a leaf in its interiority, you will have reached to the source from which all leaves emanate and into which all leaves dissolve. One who enters himself simultaneously enters all.

The distinction between “I” and “you” remains only so long as we have not entered within ourselves. The day we enter our I, the I disappears and so does the you — what remains then is all.

Actually, “all” does not mean the sum of I and you. All means where I and you have both disappeared, and what subsequently remains is all. If “I” has not yet dissolved, then one can certainly add “Is” and “yous,” but the sum will not equal truth. Even if one adds all the leaves, a tree does not come into being — even though it has had all the leaves added to it. A tree is more than the sum of all the leaves. In fact, it has nothing to do with addition; it is erroneous to add. Adding one leaf to another, we assume each one is separate. A tree is not made of separate leaves at all.

So, as soon as we enter the I, it ceases to exist. The first thing that disappears when we enter within is the sense of being a separate entity. And when that I-ness disappears, you-ness and the other-ness both disappear. Then what remains is all.

It’s not even right to call it “all,” because “all” also has the connotation of the same old I. Hence those who know would not even call it all; they would ask, “The sum of what? What are we adding?” Furthermore, they would declare that only one remains. Although they would perhaps even hesitate to say that, because the assertion of one gives the impression that there are two — it gives the idea that alone one has no meaning without the corresponding notion of two. One exists only in the context of two. Therefore, those who have a deeper understanding do not even say that one remains, they say advaita, nonduality, remains.

Now this is very interesting. These people say that “Two are not left.” They are not saying “One remains,” they are saying “Two are not left.” Advaita means there are not two.

One might ask, “Why do you talk in such roundabout ways? Simply say there is only one!” The danger in saying “one” is that it gives rise to the idea of two. And when we say there are not two, it follows that there are not three either; it implies that there is neither one, nor many, nor all. Actually, this division resulted from the perception based on the existence of “I.” So with the cessation of I, that which is whole, the indivisible, remains.

But to realize this, can we do what our friend is suggesting — can we not visualize God in everyone? To do so would be nothing more than fantasizing and fantasizing is not the same as perceiving the truth. Long ago some people brought a holy man to me. They told me this man saw God everywhere, that for the last thirty years he had been seeing God in everything — in flowers, plants, rocks, in everything. I asked the man if he had been seeing God in everything through practice because if that were so then his visions were false. He couldn’t follow me. I asked him again, “Did you ever fantasize about or desire to see God in everything?” He replied, “Yes indeed. Thirty years ago I started this sadhana in which I would attempt to see God in rocks, plants, mountains, in everything. And I began to see God everywhere.” I asked him to stay with me for three days and, during that period, to stop seeing God everywhere.

He agreed. But the very next day he told me, “You have done me great harm. Only twelve hours have passed since I gave up my usual practice and I have already begun to see a rock as a rock and a mountain as a mountain. You have snatched my God away from me! What sort of a person are you?”

I said, “If God can be lost by not practicing for just twelve hours, then what you saw was not God — it was merely a consequence of your regular exercise.” It is similar to when a person repeats something incessantly and creates an illusion. No, God has not to be seen in a rock; rather, one needs to reach a state in which there is nothing left to be seen in a rock except God. These are two different things.

Through your efforts to see him there, you will begin to see God in a rock, but that God will be no more than a mental projection. That will be a God superimposed by you on the rock; it will be the work of your imagination. That God will be purely your creation; he will be a complete figment of your imagination. Such a God is nothing more than your dream — a dream which you have consolidated by reinforcing it again and again. There is no problem seeing God like this, but it is living in an illusion, it is not entering truth.

One day, of course, it happens that the individual himself disappears and, consequently, he sees nothing but God. Then one doesn’t feel that God is in the rock, then the feeling is “Where is the rock? Only God is!” Do you follow the distinction I am making? Then one doesn’t feel that God exists in the plant or that he exists in the rock; that the plant exists and, in the plant, so does God — no, nothing of the kind. What one comes to feel is “Where is the plant? Where is the rock? Where is the mountain?”… because all around, whatever is seen, whatever exists is only God. Then seeing God does not depend upon your exercise, it depends upon your experience.

The greatest danger in the realm of sadhana, of spiritual practice, is the danger of imagination. We can fantasize truths which must otherwise become our own experience. There is a difference between experiencing and fantasizing. A person who has been hungry the whole day eats at night in his dream and feels greatly satisfied. Perhaps he does not find as much joy in eating when he is awake as he does when he is dreaming — in the dream he can eat any dish he wants. Nevertheless, his stomach still remains empty in the morning, and the food he has consumed in his dream gives him no nourishment. If a man decides to stay alive on the food he eats in dreams, then he is sure to die sooner or later. No matter how satisfying the food eaten in the dream may be, in reality it is not food. It can neither become part of your blood, nor your flesh, nor your bones or marrow. A dream can only cause deception.

Not only are meals made of dreams, God is also made of dreams. And so is moksha, liberation, made of dreams. There is a silence made of dreams, and there are truths made of dreams. The greatest capacity of the human mind is the capacity to deceive itself. However, by falling into this kind of deception, no one can attain joy and liberation.

So I am not asking you to start seeing God in everything. I am only asking you to start looking within and seeing what is there. When, to see what is there, you begin to look inside, the first person to disappear will be you — you will cease to exist inside. You will find for the first time that your I was an illusion, and that it has disappeared, vanished. As soon as you take a look inside, first the I, the ego, goes. In fact, the sense that “I am” only persists until we have looked inside ourselves. And the reason we don’t look inside is perhaps because of the fear that, if we did, we might be lost.

You may have seen a man holding a burning torch and swinging it round and round until it forms a circle of fire. In reality there is no such circle, it is just that when the torch is swinging round with great speed, it gives the appearance of a circle from a distance. If you see it close up, you will find that it is just a fast-moving torch, that the circle of fire is false. similarly, if we go within and look carefully, we will find that the “I” is absolutely false. Just as the fast-moving torch gives the illusion of a circle of fire, the fast-moving consciousness gives the illusion of I. This is a scientific truth and it needs to be understood.

You may not have noticed, but all life’s illusions are caused by things revolving at great speed. The wall looks very solid; the rock under your feet feels clearly solid, but according to scientists there is nothing like a solid rock. It is now a well-known fact that the closer scientists observed matter, the more it disappeared. As long as the scientist was distant from matter, he believed in it. Mostly it was the scientist who used to declare that matter alone is truth, but now that very scientist is saying there is nothing like matter. Scientists say that the fast movement of particles of electricity creates the illusion of density. Density, as such, exists nowhere.

For example, when an electric fan moves with speed, we cannot see the three moving blades; one cannot actually count how many there are. If it moves even faster, it will appear as if a piece of circular metal is moving. It can be moved so fast that even if you sat on top of it, you wouldn’t feel the gap between the blades; you would feel as if you were sitting on top of solid metal.

The particles in matter are moving with similar speed — and the particles are not matter, they are fast-moving electric energy. Matter appears dense because of fast-moving particles of electricity. The whole of matter is a product of fast-moving energy — even though it appears to exist, it is actually nonexistent. Similarly, the energy of consciousness is moving so fast that, because of it, the illusion of I is created.

There are two kinds of illusions in this world: one, the illusion of matter; second, the illusion of I, the ego. Both are basically false, but only by coming closer to them does one become aware they don’t exist. As science draws closer to matter, matter disappears; as religion draws nearer I the I disappears. Religion has discovered that the I is nonexistent, and science has discovered that matter is nonexistent. The closer we come, the more we become disillusioned.

That’s why I say: go within; look closely — is there any I inside? I am not asking you to believe that you are not the I. If you do, it will turn into a false belief. If you take my word for it and think, “I am not; the ego is false. I am atman, I am brahman; the ego is false,” you will throw yourself into confusion. If this merely becomes a repetitive thing, then you will only be repeating the false. I am not asking you for this sort of repetition. I am saying: go within, look, recognize who you are. One who looks within and recognizes himself discovers that “I am not.” Then who is within? If I am not, then someone else must be there. Just because “I am not,” doesn’t mean no one is there, because even to recognize the illusion, someone has to be there.

If I am not, then who is there? The experience of what remains after the disappearance of I is the experience of God. The experience becomes at once expansive — dropping I, “you” also drops, “he” also drops, and only an ocean of consciousness remains. In that state you will see that only God is. Then it may seem erroneous to say that God is, because it sounds redundant.

It is redundant to say “God is,” because God is the other name of “that which is.” Is-ness is God — hence to say “God is” is a tautology; it isn’t correct. What does it mean to say “God is”? We identify something as “is” which can also become “is not”. We say “the table is,” because it is quite possible the table may not exist tomorrow, or that the table did not exist yesterday. Something which did not exist before may become nonexistent again; then what is the sense in saying “it is”? God is not something which did not exist before, nor is it possible that he will never be again; therefore, to say “God is” is meaningless. He is. In fact, another name for godliness is “that which is.” Godliness means existence.

In my view, if we impose our God on “that which is,” we are pushing ourselves into falsehood and deception. And remember, the Gods we have created are made differently; each has his respective trademark. A Hindu has made his own God, a Mohammedan has his own. The Christian, the Jaina, the Buddhist — each has his own God. All have coined their own respective words; all have created their own respective Gods. A whole great God-manufacturing industry abounds! In their respective homes people manufacture their God; they produce their own God. And then these God-manufacturers fight among themselves in the marketplace the same way the people who manufacture goods at home do. Everyone’s God is different from the other’s.

Actually, as long as “I am,” whatsoever I create will be different from yours. As long as “I am,” my religion, my God will be different from other people’s because they will be the creation of I, of the ego. Since we consider ourselves separate entities, whatever we create will have a separate character. If, to create religion, the appropriate freedom could be granted, there would be as many religions in the world as there are people — not less than that. It is because of the lack of the right kind of freedom that there are so few religions in the world.

A Hindu father takes certain care to make his son a Hindu before he becomes independent. A Mohammedan father makes his son a Mohammedan before he becomes intelligent, because once intelligence is attained, a person won’t want to become either a Hindu or a Mohammedan. And so there is the need to fill a child with all these stupidities before he achieves intelligence.

All parents are anxious to teach their children religion right from childhood, because once a child grows up he will start to think and to cause trouble. He will raise all sorts of questions — and not finding any satisfactory answers, will do things difficult for the parents to face. This is why parents are keen to teach their children religion right from infancy — when the child is unaware of many things, when he is vulnerable to learning any kind of stupidity. This is how people become Mohammedans, Hindus, Jains, Buddhists, Christians — whatsoever you teach them to become.

And so, those we call religious people are often found to be unintelligent. They lack intelligence, because what we call religion is something which has poisoned us before intelligence has arisen — and even afterwards it continues its inner hold. No wonder Hindus and Mohammedans fight with each other in the name of God, in the name of their temples and their mosques.

Does God come in many varieties? Is the God Hindus worship of one kind, and the God the Mohammedans worship of another? Is that why Hindus feel their God is desecrated if an idol is destroyed. Or Mohammedans feel their God is dishonored if a mosque is destroyed or burned?

Actually, God is “that which is.” He exists as much in a mosque as he does in a temple. He exists as much in a slaughterhouse as he does in a place of worship. He exists as much in a tavern as he does in a mosque. He is as present in a thief as he is in a holy man — not one iota less; that can never be. Who else is dwelling in a thief if not the divine? He is as present in Rama as he is in Ravana — he is not one iota less in Ravana. He exists as much within a Hindu as he does within a Mohammedan.

But the problem is: if we come to believe that the same divinity exists in everyone, our God manufacturing industry will suffer heavily. So in order to prevent this from happening, we keep on imposing our respective Gods. If a Hindu looks at a flower he will project his own God on it, see his God in it, whereas a Mohammedan will project, visualize his God. They can even pick a fight over this, although perhaps such a Hindu-Mohammedan conflict is a little far-fetched.

Their establishments are at a little distance from each other — but there are even quarrels between the closely related “divinity shops.” For example, there is quite a distance between Benares and Mecca, but there is not much distance in Benares between the temples of Rama and Krishna. And yet the same degree of trouble exists there.

I have heard about a great saint… I am calling him great because people used to call him great, and I am calling him a saint only because people used to call him a saint.

He was a devotee of Rama. Once he was taken to the temple of Krishna. When he saw the idol of Krishna holding a flute in his hands, he refused to bow down to the image. Standing before the image, he said, “If you would take up the bow and arrow, only then could I bow down to you, for then you would be my Lord.” How strange! We place conditions on God also — how and in which manner or position he should present himself. We prescribe the setting; we make our requirements — only then are we prepared to worship.

It is so strange we determine what our God should be like. But that’s how it has been all along. What, up to now, we have been identifying as “God”, is a product based on our own specifications. As long as this man-made God is standing in the way, we will not be able to know that God who is not determined by us. We will never be able to know the one who determines us. And so we need to get rid of the man-made God if we wish to know the God which is. But that’s tough; it’s difficult even for the most kindhearted person. Even for someone we otherwise consider a man of understanding, it’s hard to get rid of this man-made God. He too clings firmly to the basic foolishness as much as a stupid man does. A stupid man can be forgiven, but it is difficult to forgive a man of understanding.

Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan arrived in India recently. He is preaching Hindu-Mohammedan unity all over the country, but he himself is a staunch Mohammedan; about this, there is not the slightest doubt. It doesn’t bother him that he prays in the mosque like a loyal Mohammedan, yet he is going about preaching Hindu-Mohammedan unity. Gandhi was a staunch Hindu, and he also used to preach Hindu-Mohammedan unity. As the guru, so is the disciple: the guru was a confirmed Hindu; the disciple is a confirmed Mohammedan. And so long as there are confirmed Hindus and confirmed Mohammedans in the world, how can such unity come about? They need to relax a little, only then unity is possible. These zealous Hindus and Mohammedans are at the root of all the trouble between the two religions, although the roots of these troubles are not really visible. Those who preach Hindu-Mohammedan unity do not have the vaguest idea how to bring it about.

As long as God is different things to different people, as long as there are different places of worship for different people, as long as prayers are different and scriptures are different — Koran being father for some and Gita being mother for others — the vexing troubles between religions will never come to an end. We cling to the Koran and the Gita. We say, “Read the Koran and teach people to drop enmity and to become one. Read the Gita and teach people to drop enmity and to become one.” We don’t realize, however, that the very words of Koran and Gita are the root cause of all the trouble.

If a cow’s tail gets cut off, a Hindu-Mohammedan riot will break out, and we will blame ruffians for causing the fight. And the funny thing is that no hoodlum has ever preached that the cow is our sacred mother. This is actually taught by our mahatmas, our holy men, who put the blame for creating riots on “hoodlums”. … Because when the tail does get cut off, then for the mahatmas’ purpose, it is not the tail of the cow, it is the tail of the holy mother! When they bring this to people’s attention, the riots begin, in which the hoodlums get involved and are later blamed for starting them.

So the people we call mahatmas are in fact at the root of all such troubles. Were they to step aside, the hoodlums would be harmless, they would have no power to fight. They get strength from the mahatmas. But the mahatmas remain so well hidden underground that we never ever realize they could be at the root of the problem.

What is the root of the problem, really? The root cause of all the trouble is your God — the God manufactured in your homes. Try to save yourselves from the gods you create in your respective homes. You cannot manufacture God in your homes; the existence of such a God will be pure deception.

I am not asking you to project God. After all, in the name of God, what will you project? A devotee of Krishna will say he sees God hiding behind a bush holding a flute in his hand, while a devotee of Rama will see God holding a bow and arrow. Everyone will see God differently. This kind of seeing is nothing but projecting our desires and concepts. God is not like this. We cannot find him by projecting our desires and our concepts — to find him we will have to disappear altogether. We will have to disappear — along with all our concepts and all our projections. Both things cannot go hand in hand. As long as you exist as an ego, the experience of godliness is absolutely impossible. You as an ego will have to go; only then is it possible to experience it. I cannot enter the door of the divine as long as my I, my ego, exists.

I have heard a story that a man renounced everything and reached the door of the divine. He had renounced wealth, wife, house, children, society, everything, and having renounced all, he approached the door of the divine. But the guard stopped him and said, “You cannot enter yet. First go and leave everything behind.”

“But I have left everything,” pleaded the man.

“You have obviously brought your ‘I’ along with you. We are not interested in the rest; we are only concerned with your ‘I’. We don’t care about whatever you say you have left behind, we are concerned with your ‘I’,” The guard explained. “Go, drop it, and then come back.”

The man said, “I have nothing. My bag is empty — it contains no money, no wife, no children. I possess nothing.”

“Your ‘I’ is still in the bag — go and drop it. These doors are closed to those who bring their ‘I’ along; for them the doors have always been closed,” said the guard.

But how do we drop the I? The I will never drop by our attempts to do so. How can “I” drop the very itself? This is impossible. It will be like someone trying to lift himself up by his shoelaces. How do I drop the I? Even after dropping everything, I will still remain. At the most one might say, “I have dropped the ego,” and yet this shows he is still carrying his “I.” One becomes egoistic even about dropping the ego. Then what should a man do? It’s quite a difficult situation.

I say to you: there is nothing difficult about it — because I don’t ask you to drop anything. In fact, I don’t ask you to do anything. The I, the ego, becomes stronger because of all the doing. I am merely asking you to go within and look for the I. If you find it, then there is no way to drop it. If it always exists there, what is there left to be dropped? And if you don’t find it, then too, there is no way to drop it. How can you drop something which doesn’t exist?

So go within and see if the I is there or not. I am simply saying that one who looks inside himself begins to laugh uproariously, because he cannot find his I anywhere within himself. Then what does remain? What remains then is God. That which remains with the disappearance of the I — could that ever be separate from you? When the I itself ceases to exist, who is going to create the separation? It is the I alone which separates me from you and you from me.

There is the wall of this house. Under the illusion that they divide space into two, walls stand — although space never becomes divided in half; space is indivisible. No matter how thick a wall you erect, the space inside the house and the space outside are not two different things; they are one. No matter how tall you raise the wall, the space inside and outside the house is never divided. The man living inside the house, however, feels that he has divided the space into two — one space inside his house and another outside it. But if the wall were to fall, how would the man differentiate the space within the house from the space without? How would he figure it out? Then, only space would remain.

In the same way, we have divided consciousness into fragments by raising the walls of I. When this wall of I falls, then it is not that I will begin to see God in you. No, then I won’t be seeing you, I’ll only be seeing God. Please understand this subtle distinction carefully.

It will be wrong to say I would begin to see godliness in you — I won’t be seeing you any more, I will only be seeing the divine. It’s not that I would see godliness in a tree — I would no longer see a tree, only the divine. When somebody says godliness exists in each and every atom he is absolutely wrong, because he is seeing both the atom and godliness. Both cannot be seen simultaneously. The truth of the matter is that each and every atom is godliness, not that godliness exists in each and every atom. It is not that some God is sitting enclosed inside an atom — whatever is, is godliness.

Godliness is the name given out of love to “that which is.” “That which is,” is truth — in love we call it godliness. But it makes no difference by which name we call it. I do not ask, therefore, that you begin to see godliness in everyone, I am saying: start looking inside. As soon as you look within, you will disappear. And with your disappearance what you’ll see is God.

-Osho

From And Now and Here, Discourse #3

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

You can read the entire book online at the Osho Library.

Many of Osho’s books are available in the U.S. online from Amazon.com and Viha Osho Book Distributors. In India they are available from Amazon.in and Oshoworld.com.

 

The Decisive Moment is at Hand – Osho

The coming few years are going to be very significant years in man’s history. Now a handful of people will be of no help in matters spiritual. Unless a mighty spirituality is born, unless a mighty and massive spiritual movement sweeps the earth, making its impact on millions of people, it will be impossible to save the world from the mire of materialism. It will be a very, very momentous moment in man’s life; the coming fifty years are going to be fateful and decisive. Either religion will live, or stark irreligion, all that is against religion, will live.

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These fifty years will also decide about Buddha, Mahavira, Krishna, Jesus, Mohammed, Rama and the rest of them. All these luminaries will be on one side of the scales while on the other side will be the large crowd of insane politicians, materialists and other ignorant people bent on deluding themselves and others too. They are in huge numbers, while only a handful of people will be on one side of the arraignment. And in fifty years’ time the decision will be made.

The struggle that has been going on from time immemorial has reached its moment of decision. And looking at the situation as it obtains at present, there is not much hope. But I am not disappointed because it seems to me that very soon a simple and natural and easy way can be found which will revolutionize the lives of millions of people spiritually.

A few individuals can be of no help in the present times. In olden times it was enough if only one person became enlightened. Now this won’t do. In view of the tremendous explosion of population taking place in the world, a few individuals cannot do a thing. Now something tangible can be possible only if, commensurate with the huge population, hundreds of thousands of people are influenced and involved in spiritualism. And it is possible as I see it. If a few people form a nucleus and begin the work, then India can play a significant role in that momentous fight. No matter how poor and miserable, how degraded and slavish, how misled and misguided this country has been, yet this land has some well-preserved treasures with it. Down the centuries such people have walked this land that their light, their fragrance, their longings have left their vibes in the air, have left their imprint on every blade of grass here. Man has of course gone wrong, but the dust of this land still remembers Buddha’s feet walking it. Man of this country has gone wrong, but the trees still cherish the memory that Mahavira had once stood in their shade. Man has really gone wrong, but the seas surrounding this country still know a different voice they had heard in the past. Man has no doubt gone astray, but the skies of this country are still full of hopes. Everything is there, only man has to come back home.

Of late, I have been constantly praying with the hope that collective explosion in the lives of millions of people may be possible. And you can be of great help in this endeavor. Such explosion in your own life will have immense value not only for you, but for all mankind. With this hope and prayer that you will not only light your own lamps, but that your light will help other extinguished lamps to be lighted, I bid you farewell. I am grateful to you for having listened to me in peace and with such love, and I bow down to God sitting within each one of you. Please accept my salutation.

-Osho

From In Search of the Miraculous, Discourse #8

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation 

You can read the entire book online at the Osho Library. 

Many of Osho’s books are available in the U.S. online from Amazon.com and Viha Osho Book Distributors. In India they are available from Amazon.in and Oshoworld.com. 

Grace and Effort – Osho

Does one attain to meditation through God’s grace?

It will be useful to understand this thing, because it has led to lots of misunderstandings and mistakes. A good number of people have thought that if meditation is attained through God’s grace then there is no need to do anything, and they did not do a thing. You are grievously mistaken if you mean by God’s grace that you don’t have to do anything.

Another misunderstanding that flows from it is that God’s grace is not equally available to everybody, that some persons receive more of it and others less. But in fact, no one is God’s chosen one; no one is his favorite. And if even God has his favorites then there is no hope for justice in the world. If you mean by God’s grace that God is kind to some and unkind to others then you are wholly mistaken.

But the statement that one attains to meditation through God’s grace is quite correct in another sense. Really it is not the statement of those who have yet to attain to meditation. It is the statement of the enlightened ones – those who have attained to it. It is so because when it happens, when one comes to it, the efforts he had made seem to be utterly irrelevant. In the context of the attainment, which is so immense, the efforts look so petty that one simply can’t say that he came to it through them. When one comes to it he feels so overwhelmed with its immensity that he says, “How could it have happened through my efforts? What had I done to find it? What price had I paid? What had I staked on it? Did I have a thing that I could have offered? Nothing.” When God’s bliss showers on anyone he just exclaims, “It is through thy compassion, O Lord, it is through thy grace, that I come to thee! Otherwise it was beyond me, impossibly beyond me.”

But remember that this is the statement of the blessed ones, the enlightened ones. If the unenlightened, the initiates cling to it they will be misled forever. Efforts are essential; one must make efforts.

The happening of meditation or enlightenment or whatsoever you call it is like opening the doors of a house in darkness to let in the sun. Although the sun has risen in the east, if we keep the doors of our house shut we will be always in the dark. And if we open the doors and wait, the sun will come in on his own. No other effort is needed to bring the sun in; we cannot put him or his light in a container and take it to our house. He comes on his own accord. The irony is that while our efforts cannot bring him, they can certainly keep him out, prevent him from coming. If we shut the doors or close our eyes, even the sun will be powerless to do anything. We can keep the sun out of our houses, we are capable of stopping the sun; but we are not capable of ushering him in. Only let the door open, and he will come in. And when the sun is in, we cannot say that we brought him in, we cannot take that credit. We can only say that it was his kindness that he came into our house. And we can only say that we were merciful to ourselves that we did not shut our doors.

Man can only be an opening, a door for God to come in. Our efforts only open the door; his coming depends on him, on his compassion. And his compassion is infinite, it is forever present at every doorstep. But what can he do if he finds many doors closed to him? God knocks at every door and goes back when he finds the doors shut. And we have closed our doors so firmly. So whenever he comes and knocks, we rationalize it, we explain it away in so many ways, and we remain content with it.

I would like to tell you a story that I love to tell. There is a great temple with a hundred priests to look after it. One night the chief priest went to bed and dreamed that God has sent word that he will visit their temple the next day. He did not believe it, because it is difficult to come across people who are more disbelieving than the priests. He did not believe his dream for another reason, too. People who trade in religion never come to believe in religion. They only exploit religion, which never becomes their faith, their truth. No one in the world is more faithless than one who turns faith into a means of exploitation. So the chief priest could not believe that God would really this temple.

The priest had never believed in such things, although he had been a priest for long years. He had worshipped God for long and he knew that God had never visited his temple even once. Each day he had offered food to God, and he knew that he had in reality offered it to himself. He had also prayed to God every day, but he knew well that his prayers were lost in the empty sky, because there was no one to hear them. So he thought that the message was not true, it was just a dream, and a dream rarely turns into a reality.

But then he was afraid, too, lest the dream should come true. At times what we call a dream turns into a reality and a reality as we know it proves to be a dream. Sometimes what we think to be a dream really becomes a reality. So the chief priest ultimately decided to inform his close colleagues about his last night’s dream. He said to the other priests, “Although it seems to be a joke, yet I should tell you about it. Last night I dreamed that God said that he would visit us today.” The other priests laughed and they said, “Are you mad that you believe in dreams? However, don’t tell others about it; otherwise they will take you to be crazy.” But the head priest said, “In case he should come, we should be prepared for it. There is no harm if he does not turn up, but if at all he comes, we will not be found wanting.”

So the whole temple and its premises were scrubbed, washed and cleaned thoroughly. It was decorated with flowers and flags and festoons. Lamps were lit and incense burned. Perfumes were sprayed and every kind of preparation made. The priests tired themselves out in the course of the day, but God did not turn up. Every now and then they looked up the road, they were disappointed, and they said, “Dream is a dream after all; God is not going to come. We were fools to believe so. It was good that we did not inform the people of the town; otherwise they would have simply laughed at us.”

By evening the priests gave up all hope, and they said, “Let us now eat the sumptuous food cooked for God. It has ever been so: what we offer to God is consumed by us in the end. No one is going to turn up. We were crazy enough to believe in a dream. The irony is that we knowingly made fools of ourselves. If others go mad, they can be excused, because they don’t know. But we know God never comes. Where is God? There is this idol in the temple; it is all there is to it. And it is our business, our profession to worship him.” And then they ate well and went to bed early as they were tired.

When it was midnight a chariot pulled up at the gate of the temple, and its sound was heard. One of the sleeping priests heard it and thought that it was God’s chariot. He shouted to others, “Listen friends and wake up. It seems he, whom we expected all day, has arrived at long last. The noise of the chariot is heard.” The other priests snubbed him saying, “Shut up, you crazy one. We have had enough of madness all through the day, now that it is night let us sleep well. It is not the sound of a chariot, but the rumblings of the clouds in the skies.” So they explained the thing away and returned to their beds.

Then the chariot halted at the gate, and someone climbed the steps of the temple and knocked at its door. And again one of the priests woke up from sleep and shouted to his associates, “It seems the guest has arrived whom we awaited the whole day long. He is knocking at the door.” The other priests berated him as they had done with the first. They said, “Are you not crazy? Won’t you allow us to sleep? It is just the dash of winds against the door and not a knock of a caller.” So they again rationalized and went back to their beds.

The next morning they woke up and walked to the gates of the temple. And they were astounded to see a few footprints on the steps of the temple. Surely enough someone had climbed them during the night. And then they noticed some marks of a chariot’s wheels on the road, and there was now no doubt at all that a chariot had arrived at the gate in the night. And strangely enough the footprints on the steps were absolutely uncommon and unknown. Now the priests burst into tears and fell down and began to roll on the ground where the chariot had halted. And soon the whole village was at the temple’s gates. Everybody in the crowd asked with bewilderment, “What is the matter?” The priests said, “Don’t ask what the matter is. God knocked at the door of our temple last night, but we rationalized everything. We are now damned. He knocked at the door and we thought that it was the flapping sound of the winds. His chariot came, and we thought that it was the rumble of thunder in the sky. The truth is that we did not understand anything. We only explained them away, because we wanted to enjoy our sleep.”

God knocks at every door. His grace visits every home. But our doors are shut. And even when we hear a knock we immediately rationalize it and explain it away. In the old days they said that “A guest is God”. There is a slight mistake in this maxim. The truth is that God is the guest. God is waiting as a guest at our doorsteps, but the door is closed. His grace is equally available to all. Therefore don’t ask whether one attains through his grace; one attains through his grace alone. And as far as our efforts are concerned, they are a help in opening the door, in removing the hurdles from the way.

When he comes, he comes on his own accord.

-Osho

From In Search of the Miraculous, Discourse #6, Q1

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

You can read the entire book online at the Osho Library.

Many of Osho’s books are available in the U.S. online from Amazon.com and Viha Osho Book Distributors. In India they are available from Amazon.in and Oshoworld.com.

Attention Between Eyebrows – Osho

Attention between eyebrows, let mind be before thought. Let form fill with breath essence to the top of the head and there shower as light.

This was the technique given to Pythagoras. Pythagoras went with this technique to Greece, and really, he became the fountainhead, the source of all mysticism in the West. He is the father of all mysticism in the West.

This technique is one of the very deep methods. Try to understand this: Attention between eyebrows… Modern physiology, scientific research, says that between the two eyebrows is the gland which is the most mysterious part of the body. This gland, called the pineal gland, is the third eye of the Tibetans – shivanetra: the eye of the Shiva, of the tantra. Between the two eyes there exists a third eye, but it is non-functioning. It is there, it can function any moment, but it does not function naturally. You have to do something about it to open it. It is not blind; it is simply closed.

This technique is to open the third eye.

Attention between eyebrows… Close your eyes, then focus both of your eyes just in the middle of the two eyebrows. Focus just in the middle, with closed eyes, as if you are looking with your two eyes. Give total attention to it.

This is one of the simplest methods of being attentive. You cannot be attentive to any other part of the body so easily. This gland absorbs attention like anything. If you give attention to it, both your eyes become hypnotized with the third eye. They become fixed; they cannot move. If you are trying to be attentive to any other part of the body it is difficult. This third eye catches attention, forces attention; It is magnetic for attention. So all the methods all over the world have used it. It is the simplest to train you in attention because not only are you trying to be attentive, the gland itself helps you; it is magnetic. Your attention is brought to it forcibly. It is absorbed.

It is said in the old tantra scriptures that for the third eye attention is food. It is hungry; it has been hungry for lives and lives. If you pay attention to it, it becomes alive. It becomes alive! The food is given to it. And once you know that attention is food, once you feel that your attention is magnetically drawn, attracted, pulled by the gland itself, attention is not a difficult thing then. One has only to know the right point. So just close your eyes, let your two eyes move just to the middle, and feel the point. When you are near the point, suddenly your eyes will become fixed. When it becomes difficult to move them, then know you have caught the right point. […]

Attention between eyebrows, let mind be before thought… If this attention is there, for the first time you will come to experience a strange phenomenon. For the first time you will see thoughts running before you; you will become the witness. It is just like a film screen: thoughts are running and you are a witness. Once your attention is focused at the third eye center, you become immediately the witness of thoughts.

Ordinarily you are not the witness, you are identified with thoughts. If anger is there, you become anger. If a thought moves, you are not the witness; you become one with the thought, identified, and you move with it. You become the thought; you take the form of the thought. When sex is there you become sex, when anger is there you become anger, when greed is there you become greed.

Any thought moving becomes identified with you. You do not have any gap between you and the thought.

But focused at the third eye, suddenly you become a witness. Through the third eye you become the witness. Through the third eye you can see thoughts running like clouds in the sky or people moving on the street.

You are sitting at your window looking at the sky or at people in the street; you are not identified. You are aloof, a watcher on the hill – different. Now if anger is there you can look at it as an object. Now you do not feel that you are angry. You feel that you are surrounded by anger – a cloud of anger has come around you – but you are not the anger. And if you are not the anger, anger becomes impotent, it cannot affect you; you remain untouched. The anger will come and go and you will remain centered in yourself. […]

This fifth technique is a technique of finding the witness. Attention between  eyebrows, let mind be before thought. Now look at your thoughts; now encounter your thoughts. Let form fill with breath essence to the top of the head and there shower as light. When attention is focused at the third eye center, between the two eyebrows, two things happen. One is, suddenly you become a witness.

This can happen in two ways. You become a witness and you will be centered at the third eye. Try to be a witness. Whatsoever is happening, try to be a witness. You are ill, the body is aching and painful, you have misery and suffering, whatsoever – be a witness to it. Whatsoever is happening, do not identify yourself with it. Be a witness, an observer. Then if witnessing becomes possible, you will be focused in the third eye.

The vice versa is the case also. If you are focused in the third eye, you will become a witness. These two things are part of one. So the first thing: by being centered in the third eye there will be the arising of the witnessing self. Now you can encounter your thoughts. This will be the first thing. And the second thing will be that now you can feel the subtle, delicate vibration of breathing. Now you can feel the form of breathing, the very essence of breathing. […]

By being focused in the third eye, suddenly you can observe the very essence of breath – not breath, but the very essence of breath, prana. And if you can observe the essence of breath, prana, you are at the point from where the jump, the breakthrough happens. […]

When you are focused in the third eye, just imagine that the essence of prana is showering from the top of the head, just as if you are sitting under a tree and flowers are showering, or you are just under the sky and suddenly a cloud begins to shower, or you are just sitting in the morning and the sun rises and rays begin to shower. Imagine, and immediately there is a shower – a shower of light falling down from the top of your head. This shower recreates you, gives you a new birth. You are reborn.

-Osho

From The Book of Secrets, Discourse #5

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

Here you can listen to the discourse excerpt Attention Between Eyebrows.

Osho’s Book of Secrets Meditations

All 112 of Shiva’s meditation techniques (Vigyan Bhairava Tantra)

An MP3 audio file of this discourse can be downloaded from Osho.com  or you can read the entire book online at the Osho Library.

Many of Osho’s books are available in the U.S. online from Amazon.com and Viha Osho Book Distributors. In India they are available from Amazon.in and Oshoworld.com.

At the Start of Sneezing be Uninterruptedly Aware – Osho

At the start of sneezing, during fright, in anxiety, above a chasm, flying in battle, in extreme curiosity, at the beginning of hunger, at the end of hunger, be uninterruptedly aware. 

It looks so simple: at the start of sneezing, during fright, in anxiety or before hunger or after hunger, be uninterruptedly aware. 

Many things have to be understood. Very simple acts like sneezing can be used as devices, because howsoever simple they look, they are very complex, and the inner mechanism is a very delicate thing. Whenever you feel that a sneeze is coming become alert, and the sneeze may not come at all. It may simply disappear, because a sneeze is a non-voluntary thing – unconscious, non-voluntary.

You cannot sneeze voluntarily; you cannot “will” it. How can you? How helpless man is! You cannot “will” a single sneeze. Howsoever you may try, you cannot bring it out. A single sneeze – such a small thing, but you cannot will it. It is non-voluntary; volition is not needed. It does not happen because of your mind; it is because of your total organism, your total body.

And the second thing: when you become alert, when the sneeze is coming – you cannot bring it, but when it is coming – if you become alert, it may not come, because you are bringing something new to the process: the alertness. It may disappear, but when the sneeze disappears and you are alert, there is a third thing. First, a sneeze is non-voluntary. You bring in a new thing – alertness. When the alertness comes, the sneeze may not come. If really you are alert, it will not; it may not happen at all. Then a third thing happens. The energy that was going to be released through a sneeze, where does it move? It moves to your alertness. Suddenly there is a flash, a lightning. You become more alert. The energy, that was going to be thrown by the sneeze moves into alertness. Suddenly you become more alert.

In that flash, in that lightning, even enlightenment is possible. That is why I say that these matters are so simple, they look absurd. Their promise seems to be too much. Just through sneezing, how can one become enlightened? But sneezing is not just sneezing; you are totally involved in it.

Whatsoever you do or whatsoever happens to you is a total involvement. Observe again: whenever a sneeze happens, you are totally in it with the whole body, the whole mind. It is not just your nose in which the sneeze is happening; every fiber, every cell of your body is involved in it. A subtle trembling, a subtle wavering goes all over the body, and with it the whole body becomes concentrated. And when the sneeze has happened, the whole body relaxes. But it is difficult to bring alertness to it. If you bring alertness to it, it will not happen, and if it happens you can know that the alertness was not there. That is why you should be alert.

At the start of sneezing…, because if it has started, nothing can be done. The arrow has gone; you cannot change it now. The mechanism has started. The energy is on its way to being released, it cannot be stopped. Can you stop a sneeze in the middle? How can you stop it in the middle? By the time you are ready, it has already happened. You cannot stop it in the middle.

Just at the beginning, become alert. The moment you feel the sensation that it is coming, become alert. Close your eyes and be meditative. Bring your total consciousness to the focus just where you are feeling the sensation of an oncoming sneeze. Just at the beginning, remain alert. The sneeze will disappear, and the energy will be transformed into more alertness. And because in the sneeze the whole body is involved, the whole mechanism is involved – it is a release mechanism and you are alert at this moment – there will be no mind, there will be no thought, no meditation.

In a sneeze, thinking stops. That is why so many people like snuff. It unburdens them, their minds feel more relaxed because for a moment thinking stops. Snuff gives them a glimpse of no-thinking. Through snuff, when the sneeze comes, they are not minds, they become bodies. The head disappears for a single moment, but it feels good.

If you become habituated to snuff, it is very difficult to leave it. It is more penetrating a habit than smoking; smoking is nothing before it. It penetrates more deeply, because smoking is conscious and sneezing is unconscious. To leave snuff is more difficult than to leave smoking. And smoking can be changed, substitutes can be found – but there is no substitute for snuff, because, really, sneezing is a very unique phenomenon in the body.

The only other thing that can be compared and which has been compared is the sex act. Those who think in terms of physiology, they say that the sex act is just sneezing through the sex organ – and the similarity is there. It is not one hundred percent right because much more is involved in sex, greater things are involved in it. But in the beginning, just in the beginning, the similarity is there.

Something is thrown out from the nose and you feel relieved, and something is thrown out from the sex organ and you feel relieved. And both are non-voluntary. You cannot move into sex with will. If you try, you will be a failure – particularly men, because man’s sex organ has to do something. It is active. You cannot “will” its act, and if you try, then the more you try, the more it will be impossible.

It can happen, but you cannot make it happen. Because of this, in the West sex has become a problem. This half century in the West sex knowledge has developed, and everyone has become so conscious about it that the sex act is becoming more and more impossible.

If you are alert, sex will be impossible. If a man is alert while making love, the more he is alert, the more it will be difficult. He will not be able to get an erection. It cannot be willed, and if you will it you will lose it. The same method, the same technique, can be used in sex. Just in the beginning, when you feel the sensation of an erection just coming to you but it has not yet come, you just feel the vibration, become alert. The vibration will be lost, and the same energy will move into alertness.

Tantra has used this. It has tried in many ways. A beautiful naked woman will be there just as an object for meditation, and the seeker, the meditator, will sit before the nude woman meditating on her body, her form, her proportions, just waiting for the first sensation in his sex center. The moment the sensation is there, he will close his eyes. He will forget the woman. He will close his eyes, and he will become alert of the sensation. Then sex energy is being transformed into alertness.

He is allowed to meditate on the nude woman only up to the point when the sensation is felt. When he has to close his eyes and move to his own sensation and become alert there, the same as is done in sneezing. And why does this flash happen? Because mind is not there. The basic thing is that if the mind is not there and you are alert, you will have satori, you will have the first glimpse of samadhi.

Thought is the barrier. So if thought disappears in any way, the thing will happen. But thought must disappear; only then is alertness there. Thought can disappear even in sleep; thought can disappear when you go unconscious; thought can disappear when you take some drug. Thought disappears, but then there is no alertness to be aware of the phenomenon that is hidden behind thought. So I define meditation as thoughtless consciousness. You can become thoughtless and unconscious; then there is no meaning. You can be conscious with thought; you are already that.

Bring these two things together – consciousness and thoughtlessness. When they meet, meditation happens, meditation is born. And you can try with very small things because nothing is really small. Even a sneeze is a cosmic phenomenon. In existence, nothing is great and nothing is small. Even a minute atom can destroy the whole world, and even a sneeze, a very atomic phenomenon, can transform you.

So don’t see things as small or big. There is nothing small and nothing big. If you have the penetrating eye, then very small things are vital. Between atoms universes are hidden, and between the universe and an atom you cannot say which is great and which is small. Even a single atom is a universe in itself, and the greatest universe is nothing but atoms. So don’t think in terms of great and small. Just try. Don’t say, “What can happen in a sneeze? I have been sneezing the whole life, and nothing has happened.”

-Osho

From The Book of Secrets, Discourse #41

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

Also see Follow the Sneeze IN

Osho’s Book of Secrets Meditations

All 112 of Shiva’s meditation techniques (Vigyan Bhairava Tantra)

An MP3 audio file of this discourse can be downloaded from Osho.com  or you can read the entire book online at the Osho Library.

Many of Osho’s books are available in the U.S. online from Amazon.com and Viha Osho Book Distributors. In India they are available from Amazon.in and Oshoworld.com.